Being a critic is easy, being a person is hard. I almost wrote exclusively about the difficulty of being an artist, but as I was putting my fingers to the keys, I realized it’s not just about being an artist.
It is so easy to sit back and say “this is a bad song” or “that movie was dumb” or “what kind of parent…”. I’ll trail off there and allow your imagination to continue that sentence since there are so many times and ways we judge other parents.
No matter how much education a person has, no matter how many books we’ve read, no matter how many times we’ve been given advice, solicited or not. We’re all just learning through trial and error. Let’s be honest. Nobody just makes perfect art or perfect kids or a perfect life without messing up. It’s not reality.
Making a judgment call about how to take a photograph, where to put paint on your canvas, which lyrics sound best or which foods will be the healthiest and easiest to give a toddler who fights you on everything is hard. Making a judgement about the person who had to make those judgement calls is easy.
But in the end, where does judging or critiquing get us? Unless we are using it as a tool to better ourselves at our art our to be better parents, and unless we are using it in a constructive, non-deprecating way, how are we making our lives better by spending so much time being critics?