Critics – Author Unknown

Robert Terson

Once upon a time there was a painter who had just completed his course under the disciple of a great painter. The young artist decided to assess his skills, so he decided to give his best strokes on the canvass. He took three days and painted beautiful scenery.

Suddenly an idea flashed in his mind and he decided to display it on a busy street-square of his small town. He wanted people’s opinion about his caliber and painting skills…

He put his creation at a busy street crossing. And just down below he placed a board which read-”Gentlemen, I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. Please put a cross wherever you see a mistake.”

When he came back in the evening to collect his painting he was completely shattered to see that whole canvass was filled with Xs (crosses) and some people had even written their comments on the painting.

Disheartened and broken completely he ran to his master’s place and burst into tears. Sobbing and crying inconsolably he told his master what happened and showed the pathetic state of his creation, which was filled with marks everywhere. It was in such a sorry state that the colors were not visible; all that could be seen were crosses and correction remarks.

The young artist was breathing heavily and his master heard him say, “I’m useless and if this is what I have learnt to paint, I’m not worth becoming a painter. People have rejected me completely. I feel like dying.”

The master smiled and suggested, “My Son, I will prove that you are a great artist and have produced a flawless painting.”

Young disciple couldn’t believe it and said, “I have lost faith in me and I don’t think I am good enough… Don’t give false hopes.”

“Do as I say without questioning it… It WILL work,” the master interrupted him. “Just paint the exact same painting once again and give it to me. Will you do that for your master?” the master asked.

Young artist reluctantly agreed and two days later presented a replica of his earlier painting to his master. The master accepted it gracefully and smiled.

“Come with me,” the master said.

They reached the same street-square early morning and displayed the same painting, exactly at the same place. Now the master took out another board, which read—”Gentlemen, I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. I have put a box with colors and brushes just below. Please do me a great favor. If you see a mistake, kindly pick up the brush and correct it.”

The master and disciple walked back home.

They both visited the place the same evening. The young painter was surprised to see that there was not a single correction done so far. But the master wasn’t satisfied as yet, and he told his disciple, “Maybe one day was too little a time for people to come up with ideas and take time out of their busy schedules to correct it, so let us keep it here for one more day. Tomorrow is Sunday, so we can expect some corrections coming in.”

Next day again they visited and found the painting remained untouched.

They say the painting was kept there for a month, but not one single correction came in!

Moral of the Story: It is easy to criticize, but far more difficult to improve upon.


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