I criticize by creation, not by finding fault. – Cicero
What does that mean?
In this case, the phrase “by creation” means to form or create something new. In other words, the quote is implying that it is better to criticize something by creating a solution which solves the problem, or is otherwise better, rather than by simply whining and complaining about the faults of the present system.
It’s true, nearly everyone can complain, and a great many of them do. They find fault in almost anything. However, few have a better way. And even fewer are able to step forward with a completed plan, or better yet, simply implement the plan, and show the world a better way, without having to complain or find fault.
I believe we should avoid the whining and complaining, the fault-finding, and take the initiative to develop a better way. Better yet, start doing things in this better way. That is the superior way to solve problems on any scale.
From a better product to a more efficient way of doing business to reforming government to dealing with reluctant family members, there are many creative ways to solve problems. Finding and implementing the better way is vastly superior to just complaining.
Why is creativity important?
To me, the act of creation, be it in art or problem solving, is a truly beautiful thing. While beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, there is something moving in a creation of the mind, even more so when it solves a problem that others only complain about.
At one point in time, the big complaint in the cities was the build up of horse manure, and how it fouled up the air. So to solve this problem, cars were invented. That solved the sanitation portion of the transportation issue. However, it fouled up the air in a different manner.
Today, all sorts of people are complaining about smog and pollution while others are hard at work, trying to find ways to make things better. Not by whining, but by creating. These people will find ways, some more elegant or more complete than others, but new ways will be found.
Where can I apply this in my life?
In my line of work, we have plenty of people who can point out the flaws. I deal with them all the time. The ones who are a true pleasure to work with are the ones who can not only point out the flaws, but then start working on ways to remediate, or even eliminate them.
Having just finished a political season here in the US, we know all about the problems we face. They were explained to us in excruciating detail in commercial after commercial. However, all the solutions were, for the most part, simple hand waving. Nothing creative nor of a creation.
Think through your life. Which type of person do you prefer to be around, the ones who are complaining, or the ones who are trying to fix things? Yes, some of the ideas brought forth are a bit silly, but that’s Darwinism in action. Lots of people, lots of ideas, the best (we hope) survive to the next round.
The next round, of course, is action. Sometimes small-scale experiments are self-funded, others are backed by venture capitalists. occasionally, they are backed by government grants, although the spate of failures in the US of late makes me worry about the viability of that method of funding.
But what can you do in your field of expertise, or in your neighborhood? What can you do at work or in your social groups? That is truly the trick. If each of us could just do a little, the over-all impact could very easily alter the course of history.
The next time you feel the urge to criticise, take it to the next step. Answer the next question – “If you think it’s not right, how would you do it?” It really is that simple, and that difficult. It’s probably a well established habit by now, isn’t it?
But if you keep after it, you can change your habit. Just pause before you speak, and think, what is the next step, how can this be done better. Then, instead of complaining, you can offer an option, another way to try to do things. It might not be well received, but you offered something other than a complaint. That is, in my opinion, a worthy accomplishment.
What will you do to help move the ball forward? Complaining just drags things down, creating new possibilities brings us up. Which way do you want to go?
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcustull103764.html
Photo by Bill Ward’s Brickpile