Yes, I Am a Flawed Messenger. Then Again, Who Isn’t?

For a person with such strong opinions about, well, almost everything, I have an incredibly thin skin when it comes to criticism. I could have set that sentence in quotation marks, changed the “I” to a “you,” and attributed it to one of the scores of people who have said that to me over the years. I didn’t do that, because I want to make it clear I know it is true.

I can deal with certain kinds of criticism. (I won’t like it, but I can deal with it.) For example, people sometimes point out what they believe are logical inconsistencies or non sequiturs in my writing. I can deal with that because, most of the time, I can explain my thinking to show that the perceived gap in consistency was more misperception than reality. Moreover, when the critique is sound, and my logic really has been faulty, I can show genuine, if sometimes grudging, appreciation.

I have greater difficulty with the more subjective criticism of my character or my motives. In the first place, it is almost impossible to defend oneself against a critique that points up a flaw in character or motivation, whether or not the critique is true and accurate. In the second place, the critique is far too often both true and accurate. Continue reading

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I Have Not Abandoned The Faith

I’ve learned something in recent days, and it is fostering in me a constant attitude of repentance. The kinds of things I used to say about other people, believing I was simply being faithful and “telling it like it is,” are now being said about me. I would make sweeping statements, based on what I thought I knew about the inner thoughts and motivations of people who differed with me on key issues. But I was wrong. I was wrong to say those things because I was wrong about the inner thoughts and motivations of those who saw things differently. Continue reading