I've been seeing another blogger defending herself against critics, and something about it troubles me. I think my preference is to ignore critics. I'm not sure that's right. I do believe that we humans grow as a result of engaging with others. If someone criticizes us, perhaps in refusing to engage, we limit our learning and growth. But in my life, there have been times when listening to others took me away from my own path. Sometimes certain pieces of advice didn't resonate with me, but I gave the person the benefit of the doubt and explored the path to which they directed me. It seems to me that those explorations were to my detriment, because they took me away from my own path. As I have grown older, I have come to believe that I need to give more trust to my own intuition. I have come to understand that in most cases, I am really the best judge of what is right for me.
When we put ourselves out there, when we post things to the internet or publish books or whatever, we expose ourselves to all sorts of people, people who have no understanding of our values. When someone puts themselves out there, others tend to take that as an invitation to engage, to debate, to criticize.
I do believe that it's valuable to exchange ideas with others, but sometimes people just argue and criticize without taking any time to understand where you are coming from. It's not my job to educate those people. It's my job to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and compassion.
Some people enjoy debate. I don't. Not like that. I do enjoy a mutual engagement in search of ideas, but not debate that is based on attacking people.
So I leave. I have quit internet discussions that became too argumentative. I haven't really had negative comments, but if someone left a negative comment on my blog or Facebook page, I would delete it.
Some people would say that it's censorship. It's not. You can write whatever you want on your blog or your Facebook page, but mine is my own creation. If Leonardo da Vinci was painting a painting and someone came along and painted across it, wanting to remove that intrusive paint stroke is not censorship. You make your painting and I make my painting. It's only censorship if you paint over someone else's painting.