Today I read an article on a blog about a creative project, and how some people liked it and some people didn’t, and I kept wondering, when I was reading the comments from people who didn’t like it, why their response was to comment about not liking it rather than to create something better. Nobody stands around a negative comment and talks about how great it is, or how well it’s written, or how it’s going to change the world.
But then I also understand why people do and say such things. It’s hard to create things. It takes confidence and resources, two things that don’t come easily or naturally. And also, there is an appropriate season for finding our identities, for trying on movies and bands like clothes in an attempt to figure out who we are.
Perhaps we should not put our energy into criticism, we should accept the challenge to squash what we do not like by creating something better. And when we have done so, we will realize how hard it was to create the thing we dismissed so easily.
Sooner or later, though, we have to create. We have to go and make something with the collected likes and dislikes we’ve assembled, we have to turn them into stories and songs, into families and gardens, into companies and churches.
These things start small, though, just a kid rolling a tiny pile of snow into a ball until it gets so big somebody gets interested and wants to help him, after which the ball gets larger and larger, and then others get motivated by what they are seeing and bring out sticks and lumps of coal and a tophat and a scarf.
But then again, snowmen are stupid. They just melt. Why try.