Quote of the Week 5: How to avoid criticism

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I’m in a strange new world at the moment. I’ve moved from studying at university to placement. These are the months where I shall (apparently) put all the theory I’ve been learning over the last 16 months and apply it to real life.

It is a world where pretty much everyone I work with is doing something. Cares about something. Have very strong opinions and not afraid to speak out about them. These are the people that know the names of all their local councillors, MPs, MSPs, MEPs, who sits on associations and committees. They are leafleting, speaking out and you’ll probably see them out and about at rallys and protests.

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It is the first time of my life when most of what appears on my facebook feed is political. Potentially controversial. And it’s rare for there to be a conversation about anything that is mainstream media (unless it’s to critique it).

It is inspiring, and I wish more of us were willing to make spending time in this world a priority. It is however, a challenge.

Firstly, it means engaging in sometimes difficult discussion. It means getting out of our comfort zones. It means being uncomfortable at times. It is likely that when you share your thoughts, your family and friends may disagree with you – and I’m sure that people will criticise you.

Of course, it would be a much more comfortable life to avoid criticism. We could stay in our bubbles and consume without thought. We could get up, go to work, earn money, spend it in ways that are convenient to us, and live almost anonymously. We can observe the things going on around us and be glad that we’re ok and ignore any injustices in the world outside our bubble.

But when we start to care enough to make choices about how we prioritise our time and how we spend our money and use any position we have to speak out against injustice or give an opinion about what needs to change to make this world a better place for everyone…people who are happy with the way things are – they are going to criticise us.

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