Anyone who has done anything consequential—whether good, bad, ugly, or worse—has been criticized. Sometimes for things they deserved to be and sometimes not. Everyone from Mother Teresa to Winston Churchill has had to face, and face down, opposition in the public, the press, and even among the people closest to them. They’ve had their names dragged through the mud, their motives questioned, their methods scrutinized.
And yet, all of these people found ways through the noise. They found ways to manage their reactions and responses, to discipline themselves to continue to press on.
We talk about thick skin. Marcus Aurelius called it “tranquility.” It was, as he put it, “The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.”
That’s what we can control: what you do. You can’t control what they think, say, criticize you for, call you out on, or look down on.
So if you take heat today—deservedly or not—just remember it doesn’t matter what they say (you choose whether you care about that or not). It only matters what you do.
– Daily Stoic
“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.”
Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184
“What we fear, we attempt to control. The root of our desire to control others is the blatant lie that we actually can. You cannot control other people; you have tried and you have failed. The kingdom is full of free people walking in freedom.”
“When you try to control someone, it’s because you are actually afraid they might do something you don’t want them to do, so you manipulate the situation to try to produce a more desirable outcome. This is the handiwork of the Devil because it’s built on a lie. The only person you can control is yourself. You have been given the spirit of self-control, not other-control.”
– Caleb Hyers, Dependenceville
For those healing from the deep pains of unrighteous dominion…
“The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism…the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.”
–Hugh Nibley (1973)
When people decide they have rights or authority on their side, they too often forget about the Golden Rule.
All too many people govern themselves and others in the following manner: Once they determine that they have rights or authority in any given context, they are relieved from any greater moral responsibility. They can act imperiously. They can be outraged. They can be unreasonable. After all, the law or justice or morality is on their side.
– David French
They’re so locked into their policies, there’s no room for empathy.
– Julia Underwood