Monday, March 21, 2011

Giving, Receiving and a whole lot of...Charity!

This was a terrifically interesting and important reading and really hit home for me. It was rather ironic because for the last year or two I’ve watched a close friend go through these same stages of grief over her writing. She had her moments when she thought that she had no friends because her friends objected to parts of her writing. There were long periods of self-doubt and frustration, but in the end it was decided that she should finish her first draft before asking for feedback.
It’s been a real blessing for me to have seen her go through that process because now I can skip steps A-F of worry, frustration and doubt, and get straight to a nearly-finished, ready to be critiqued, get-your-stone-face-on draft.
While my approach to receiving criticism is very much a “buck up and bite the bullet” approach, that may not always be the best approach. It is certainly important to remember to give criticism with charity. In D&C 121: 41-43, referring to the Priesthood, but also applicable to correcting in general it says: “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; 42) By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile— 43) Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;”. While this would be an ideal way for everyone to correct, it is not easy to do, nor is it always done. It is therefore important to remember to also receive criticism or critique with charity.
It is my goal to always keep the individual in mind when giving and receiving critique and feedback, not only on creative projects, but also in life in general. We’re all just people trying to be better, and mistakes aren’t the end of the world.

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