Entering the Arena

Its easy to be a critic. Its easy to have no skin in the game and to sit on the sidelines and offer reasons as to why something will work or won’t work or point out where things could have been done better.

It’s hard to be in the arena. It’s hard to be in the game, covered in sweat, valiantly trying, yet coming up short over and over again, knowing that your efforts could end in bliss and victory or despair and failure.

But even in failure, at least you know you failed while daring greatly in a cause you deemed worthwhile. The critic doesn’t know or experience victory or defeat.

Critics risk little, if anything at all, and cast judgement on those who put forth their work (and themselves) to the judgement of the world.

The paradox of this is in the grand scheme of life, the average “piece of junk” created is probably more valuable than the criticism describing it that way.

As a critic, it’s fun to write and read negative sentiments. And, it’s much easier (as well as far more enjoyable) to identify and label the mistakes of others than to recognize our own.

So what is hard about being a critic?

A critic only truly risks something in defense of the new. The world prone to inertia. The world that isn’t friendly to change. The world is unkind to new creations. But the new needs companionship.

And critics who attempt to make friends with the new enter the arena. Whether you’re a creator or a critic, entering the arena is hard to do, and commendable on its own.

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