why we ought to respect, instead of quickly dismissing someone’s creative work

Ever had that moment where you tried to share a song, a book, or an artist you listen to with someone, and they didn’t even want to listen, choosing to entirely dismiss the work just based on the reputation or genre?

I believe there is one very important reason why we shouldn’t dismiss other people’s work so fast. The reason is that our own ego can get in the way of us being able to see how hard that person had to work to prepare that piece of art. It took effort and skill to make that happen.

It’s can be easy for us to simply dismiss things because in that case, all the work we had to do was to apply minimal effort to say a few critical words. Compared to doing something, it’s much easier to say things like: “yeah, yeah! I could have done that too. In fact, I could have done a better job than that person!”

At that point, we can ask ourselves why it was that it was not us who got that work done, but the other person instead? It’s a good question to ask to keep your ego in check. Here’s why.

Some people put a lot of effort into honing their baking skills | Photo by Julias Torten und Tu00f6rtchen on Pexels.com

When we decide to respect people’s work and their craft, we develop the humility that allows us to slip into the role of a student and learn from them. At that point, we can allow ourselves to pay close attention to their work and see what exactly it is that they are doing that works.

We can start to see that what they are doing has a unique value. There must be a reason why they are producing the work that other people are not producing. Perhaps it’s their deep interest in that craft that everyone else doesn’t share. Perhaps it’s a practiced skill that was sharpened after lots of time was invested into its development. Perhaps there is a strategy that person is using that makes all the difference that you are not able to see on the surface.

The danger of adopting a mindset of quick dismissiveness is that we will only end up blocking our own selves from learning from others and growing ourselves. Showing respect to others and appreciating the hard work that their craft takes, is one way to not let our ego get to our head and wreck our chances of personal growth.

So, next time that we see a painter, a singer/songwriter, a baker, an artist, or anyone who tries to be creative, we can choose to look at what they are doing right. And if we know something that we think others don’t, we can think about sharing it instead, since teaching helps others, and we grow too.


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