I like quotes, and one of the many quotes I keep attached to the front of my computer, states, “There’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”
This quote is attributed to Aristotle.
For many, especially those who have a job in management, hold public office, or work with the public, experience has proven that criticism will abound no matter how hard you try to please or go out of your way to do the right thing.
Quite possibly most of you can identify.
This week going through the archives I found a cute write-up contributed to our paper years ago by former resident Charles Fish, who lived in Ava and Gainesville most of his life.
This article from December 12, 1968, is attributed to the editor of the Colorado Steamboat Pilot, and it’s entitled “Dammed If You Do….Dammed if You Don’t.” It stated the following:
“If I write an in-depth story, it’s too long. If I write a concise one, it’s incomplete. If I take sides on an issue, I’m prejudiced. If I don’t, I’m a coward. If I’ve been on the job a short time, I lack experience. If I’ve been around a while, it’s time for a change.
“If I don’t stop and talk (deadlines, you know), I’m too big for my britches. If I do, that’s all I have to do anyway. If I ask for advice, I’m incompetent. If I don’t, I’m a know-it-all. If I make a mistake, I hear about it for weeks. If I don’t, I never hear about it. If I accept a social drink, I’m an alcoholic. If I misspell your name, you never forget about it. If I don’t, you didn’t read the story.”
This write-up made me chuckle, and hopefully, you will too, because the concept not only applies to the newspaper business, but it applies to life in general.
And, as I noted earlier, quite possibly most of you can identify.