An event occurred in 1929 that created a national sensation in educational circles. A young man named Richard Hutchins had worked his way through Yale, acting as a waiter, a tutor, etc. Eight years later he was being inaugurated as president of the fourth richest university, The University of Chicago. He was thirty years old. Criticism came roaring down upon this “boy wonder” like a rockslide. Even the newspapers join the attack.
The day he was inaugurated, a friend said to the father of Richard Hutchins, “I was shocked this morning to read the newspaper editorial denouncing your son.”
“Yes” the elder Hutchins replied, “it was severe, but remember that no one ever kicks a dead dog.”
Yes, and the more important a dog is, the more satisfied people get in kicking him.
When you are kicked and criticized, remember that it is often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. It can often mean that you are accomplishing something and are worthy of attention. Many people get a sense of savage satisfaction out of denouncing those who are better educated, happier, or more successful.
George Washington was even denounced as a “hypocrite” “an impostor,” and as “little better than a murderer”?
The more you try to pacify and to smooth over injured feelings in order to escape criticism, the more certain you are to increase your enemies. So finally I said to myself, “if you get your head above the crowd, you’re going to be criticized. So get used to the idea.”
Make it a rule to do what you can and put up your umbrella to let the rain of criticism drain off of you instead of running down your neck.”