Thoughts on Criticism (Repost)

Back in 2003, I went through a particularly bad time, and was on the point of giving up on something. Then someone sent me a quote on Criticism, and I proceeded to gather a few more.

Today, I feel equally down when, after working so hard, I face a similar situation. So here’s is that post, back from 2003, to remind myself about it:

Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.
– American Indian Proverb

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
– Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
– Christopher Hampton

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.
– Dale Carnegie

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
– Donald H. Rumsfeld (1932 – )

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
– Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915)

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
– Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)

Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
– H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1834)

Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.
– Zeuxis (~400 BC), from Pliny the Elder, Natural History

and finally:

You aren’t remembered for doing what is expected of you
– Atul Chitnis (1962 – )


  1. Darwin says:

    “Criticism is either a springboard or a slide you must decide”

  2. Rob says:

    You cannot make a large group of people agree on anything – let alone your decisions/choices on a particular matter.

    Imagine the world today if a lesser known President of the US had not passed the civil rights reforms? Black people in America may not have had the freedoms we take for granted in our country. I am talking about Lyndon Johnson.

    Read the history of the Rockefellers – great men were not always popular in their lifetime.

    It is important to never confuse popular with virtuous or altruism. In a perfect world, they would mean the same thing.

    Your contributions to Linux, the open source movement is is truly commendable. You are teaching young minds to be inquisitive and “do something”. India lacks that spirit.

    It is unfortunate that the LARGE majority of people who are happy with your leadership and contributions are silent about their opinions.

    I dont know you personally and have never met you in person. I read your columns in the 1990s as kid in India with limited resources or access to technology.