“Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.” Jean Sibelius
Picture this: it is the day before Druyd’s concert in Kopriva. I’m practicing in my room at my piano, just like always, but today with just a little extra intensity knowing that tomorrow I will have to give my all at the concert. When in storms my father-in-law, huffing and puffing, ready to blow the house down and shouts “Stop that meowing! You’ve been doing it all day!”
Now, anyone who knows me knows that singing practice to me is like meditation where I can rediscover myself, a midday’s nap where I can recover from the day’s hustle and bustle. So when anyone disturbs me they are met with a fury that I usually keep for songs such as “Daorson” and “Unwinding the wind”. You won’t be surprised then when I tell you that my reply was “Go get a pair of headphones and leave me alone!”
My friend told me of a similar story too. While driving home with her friends from Druyd’s concert, she began to sing and was inundated with comments belittling her voice and “what the hell are you thinking singing like that???” to which she replied something along the lines of “go get a life!”
I will refrain from making comments about my father-in-law or my friends’ fellow passengers. I will say this though – it is comments such as these that has prevented countless people from singing. Not only that, it has prevented them from opening their mouths. Full stop. From not asking their boss to give them a well-earned raise to not protesting on the streets against global warming and the like to not telling their kids or partner they love them.
So before you go criticising someone, I suggest the following – take a deep breath and count to ten. And say nothing unless it is constructive to your listener. Remember: “When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.”
And should you be the one on the receiving end of criticism, I make the following suggestion – take a deep breath and count to ten. And then give them a good punch in the nose! Just kidding! In the words of Samuel Goldwin “Don’t pay any attention to the critics – don’t even ignore them.” Just keep singing!