Friday, April 20, 2007

Critical Angelo

You’ve all probably heard the Michelangelo quote, “Criticize by creating.”

Some folk misunderstand Mike’s meaning, thinking he is saying “Make art that criticizes stuff.”

Actually, what the guy was getting at is more like this: “If you think that statue over there sucks, make a better statue. Then people will stop looking at that bad statue, and start looking at a good statue instead.”

Marilyn vos Savant, the world’s smartest person, said something in a similar vein in this week’s PARADE.

She was giving advice on how to debate about politics, and suggested that one shouldn’t point out what is bad in another’s beliefs – that just makes them defensive.

Instead, she suggested focusing on what is good and worthy in your own beliefs.

For, she says, “People are more likely to adopt new beliefs than to drop old ones…”

It is interesting to me that both American politics and American Christianity seem to operate more on the “attack what is wrong with the other fellow” approach.

I wonder, does this suggest we really aren’t looking to change opinions, but only solidify the true believers?

And what does that say of our politics, or our faith?

I’m starting to think that we’ve all just given up on trying to think of good things to say about where we stand…

Just my thoughts,


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