Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Crucible of Criticism

crucible (ˈkruːsɪb ə l) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. a vessel in which substances are heated to high temperatures
2. the hearth at the bottom of a metallurgical furnace in which the metal collects
3. a severe trial or test

I finished my quiz for anatomy of the eye early tonight, so I let myself look through all my you tube comments piling up. Over the years I have posted a lot of videos. The subjects range from magic, interviews, juggling, calligraphy and of course budo.

Reading down the list of comments is a laundry list of insults and degradations. You suck. On some days that is all I hear, about all my art forms.

Years ago when I first started I would burn with shame when I saw these comments. My fragile ego couldn't handle the attacks. Now, as a seasoned performer I see these as badges of honor - marks of achievement.

You see, I have performed among the elite magicians in Vegas. I have trained with top level jugglers. I have a successful martial arts practice, with people I love. My calligraphy is not masterful, but it is my expression of the joy of practice.

The criticisms over the years have burned off any self doubt. I stand now confident in my ability, and always eager to learn and experience more. I see all those criticisms as marks of honor, because at least I am producing. I am contributing to these arts and am not just another invisible critic trying to tear others down.



  1. If Anonymous had any... maybe he would contribute,not just criticize .

    Something constructive from Anonymous?
    Why that would be...NUTZ !!!

  2. not criticizing.
    just think he is nutz.

  3. Hey Bro, you think you have some bad comments..
    I Have been told many times over that what I do is not Aiki. It is however the Path that I have been Chosen. At least you haven't had a comment saying a 1 year old walks better than your students.

  4. "When noble people become poor, they still behave honorably....The characteristics of a noble person is not to be happy with praise, and not to be sad with criticism, but in all things maintain one's good qualities."
    -Sakya Pandita,
    "A Jewel Treasury of Good Advice"