The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Critics Are A Dime A Dozen

On March 31st, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by

Critics are a dime a dozen

Think about this.

“It’s not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man that is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who falls short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasms, and great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and, who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

President Theodore Roosevelt, February 1910

Eloquent and graceful – yet biting. I hope that in my lifetime, I can say something half as meaningful.

I’ve said this same thing. My comments have always been much more callous and crass, but the message is the same. I have no respect for those who criticize without ever trying. To cast stones toward those who are doing good works is unappealing.

My favorite analogy is that of a barking dog from the other side of the fence. The pooch is brave and fearless because the chain link barrier prevents him from entering into the arena of battle. Social media has increased barking dogs at least a hundred fold.

Sure, bravery is easy to muster up when one hides behind e-mails or tweets – even blogs. Social media has expanded the world of communication, both good and bad, but there is no question that one of the ills of modern-day communication is its ability for the faceless and nameless to promote cowardly, mean-spirited acts of libel and slander without ever showing their face. Courage is dying behind the veiled anonymity of a Twitter handle.

Critics are a dime a dozen. Monday morning quarterbacks are everywhere expressing their “should of and could of” opinions without ever placing their foot in the arena. I have very little respect for such pundits. Sportswriters whose only common ground with a professional athlete is their travel per diem for food always have something critical to impart on those who do the hard work. The same holds true for a generation of political pundits who have never held office. The 24-hour news cycle and cable TV has given birth to countless “analysts” who are both “full of chit and full of chat.”

Those of us who toil in the trenches doing work that nobody else will do, should be applauded first, and then offered up support and help. Resources and critical thinking is what matters most, not some blathering diatribe that attacks the goodness of what is happening.

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