Criticism Hurts

Claire - Dallastown, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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A small but powerful comment can lead to a disastrous event, such as a panic attack. The quote “I believe young people need models not critics,” by John Wooden, caught my eye right away. I strongly agree with this quote because I have gone through many experiences to which this quote relates to. Young people can also get stressed out or pressured by nasty comments.

“This is terrible…you can’t do any better,” said my mother. These very words turned my lively happiness to a sigh of depression. Kids like me are always being criticized by parents. Parents want you to be perfect in every way possible. They want what’s best for you, but don’t realize how much their criticism can hurt your feelings. A friend of mine experienced this exactly. “Look at your grades! At this rate you are never going to get that A! You might as well kiss that Distinguished Honor goodbye!!” her mother said. In her mom’s eyes she was a failure. Comments such as these can destroy the high hopes that young kids have.

These horrible comments can depress people greatly. Young people need to look up to people and have someone support them instead of someone looking down on them. Colby, A former student, wanted to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. Praise and support from peers, parents, and other adults can go a long way to enrich an ego and enhance a person’s drive to try harder, do better, and succeed more often. Although he thought this was a great job for his future, his parents weren’t so sure. They told him that he could try as hard as he could, but would never make it. Critics make you feel like you will never be good enough for them.

On the other hand, another classmate said, “Everybody needs critics to succeed.” I disagree with this opinion. Praise and support from peers, parents, and other adults can go a long way to enrich an ego and enhance a person’s drive to try harder, do better, and succeed more often. Negative comments can be exhausting to get over. I strongly believe young people need support and encouragement not a caviler who gives judgment.

In summation, I think juveniles’ should be emboldened, not blamed on for not doing what a critic thinks is perfect. Pressuring people for perfection won’t do very much. It may even have the opposite effect and make them resentful or uncooperative or unmotivated. For example, Anton Ego, the critic in Ratatouille, learns very much about criticizing people. At first, he greatly disliked the chef and restaurant that he was dining in. He wrote a bad review and the chef died of a heart attack when he read it.

Many people relate to John Wooden’s quote and think about all of the times they gave up on their dreams or goals for a careless or harsh review. I think people who give criticism should think about their words carefully before they cause hurt and pain. There is an art to giving criticism in a positive way. Words that inspire better lives are far better than those that deflate and depress lives.