Careful Judgement

While we would love to have no criticism, probably if we had no critique, we wouldn’t be doing anything meaningful.  Erwin McManus

Yes Mr. McManus, you make a point. However, I believe your thoughts to be overly critical. Let’s look at the definition of the word – critique.
Noun: a careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art).

Verb: to express your opinion about the good and bad parts of (something) : to give a critique of (something).

Critique, as a noun, I can relate to – careful judgement is the key here.  One is entitled to their opinion about the good and bad parts of a work of art or piece of literary work.

Referring to the first part of the quote, while we prefer to have no criticism – if it is careful judgement,  I would embrace an opinion.

Critique as a verb, on the other hand, can be misused and abused.  First, it seems there are more situations where the meaning of careful judgement is forgotten.  Application of expression is the key here. What ever happened to diplomacy?

Let’s look at the definition of diplomacy: the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country’s representatives abroad.

Is diplomacy becoming a lost art?  Can we criticize or critique someone or something, and still stay within the boundaries of careful judgement?

What really concerns me is the second part of the quote.  If we weren’t criticized or critiqued, we wouldn’t be doing anything useful. What?!

I can’t agree with this.  I feel this part of the quote reflects negativity. Where is the author’s faith in mankind?  We can be very useful without being criticized, or critiqued, or judged.  We learn from our teachings, and we learn from our experiences.  And yes, we can learn from the opinions of others, when expressed properly.  Otherwise, not expressing an opinion diplomatically could have adverse effects.

Careful Judgement and diplomacy should go hand in hand.  There is the thought, in this case the opinion, and there is the application of same.  The application can be more important than the opinion.

Again referring to the quote – and to think if we weren’t critiqued, we wouldn’t be doing anything useful, is a very poor assumption and I find it rather negative.

I would like to think that I used careful judgement and diplomacy in critiquing the quote by Mr. McManus.

I believe the quote below, by Mr. Gunn, expresses my feelings about critiquing.

I’m honest about expressing my opinions. At the same time, I’m diplomatic in how I do critique things if I have a negative response. Tim Gunn


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