Life is short; why discourage anyone else?
Why do some people discourage?
I think in life, I am always fascinated in pursuing knowledge in what makes no sense to me.
For example, it makes no sense why you would ever discourage anybody. Seriously — what is the practical function of discouraging anyone? Life is short and advice is cheap — why discourage?
This is my theory:
Others often like to discourage you (remove your courage/heart for something) because it makes them feel better about themselves.
For example. a lot of people like to ‘shut down’ your ideas, because if they see you pursue your passion in life, it makes them feel bad about themselves.
Do others really want what is best for you?
Or — often people discourage you because they don’t consider what is best for you– but what is best for them.
For example, whenever you ask for advice/feedback from others, you must be very wary.
“Are they giving me this advice because they think that this advice will genuinely help me, or because it supports their own personal moral/code of ethics?”
Only trust your true friends
My personal definition of ‘true friendship‘ is this:
A true friend is someone who genuinely wants the best for YOU; not what is best for themselves.
A true friend would put themselves in your shoes, and give you ideas/thoughts/feedback based on what can EMPOWER YOU to the maximum.
Is altruism over the internet possible?
One of the biggest reasons I built arsbeta.com was because I was distressed to see that there was really no productive or supportive place on the internet to give/receive meaningful and honest feedback.
My theory so far is this:
With a ‘double-blind’ algorithm (the other person doesn’t know who you are, and you don’t know who the other person is) facilitates a more honest/constructive form of critique-sharing, because it removes the opportunity for the delight in sinister attacks (trolling).
A shift in the culture
I have this idealistic notion of what ARS can become:
A positive, uplifting, and constructive critique society/community– where we can all thrive together.
No needless negativity or discouragement; only encouragement.
Why encourage others?
To encourage means to give courage (heart) to someone.
A lot of people tell me that they like me a lot in real life (and also my workshops) because I am so encouraging. But why am I so encouraging?
I am encouraging because I genuinely believe in the strengths, skills, talents of every human being– and seeing any human potential being squandered hurts my soul.
Furthermore, I hate the pretentiousness and spirit of bullying in the art/photo world, and I have always ‘rooted for the under-dog’. I personally hate bullies, especially from petty individuals who try to tear down others in order to prop up their own self-esteem.
I think our own self-esteem must be independent and self-generated. Furthermore. we should never build our self-esteem at the expense of others. Only petty and weak souls build their self-esteem by putting others down. Perhaps it is only magnanimous and great souls who are so powerful that they don’t feel intimidated by anyone else, thus, they only give positive/encouraging feedback to others, to help empower others (because they are not afraid of ‘competition’ or anyone else being a threat to them).
Thus in soul, if you desire to become a great soul/individual– only give encouragement, never discouragement.
What if I want to give honest critique that can help someone else?
The difference between ‘criticizing’ and giving someone a ‘constructive critique’ is this:
A constructive critique aims to genuinely help the other person; a criticism is generally an attack to prop up the self-esteem of a petty person.
Therefore if you see a good friend going down a wrong path, or pursuing a business venture which you consider foolish, give them constructive criticism. Tell them that you’re giving them feedback because you love them and care for their well-being.
Furthermore, you cannot be a feedback tyrant; which means,
You can give your constructive critique to someone, but don’t FORCE them to incorporate your feedback. You must always give them the option of integrating your feedback or not.
The irony is that the best way to get someone to integrate your feedback is this:
“You can totally ignore my feedback, but I think you should [x, y, z]”
By telling people that they have an option to ignore your feedback, you actually are MORE likely to have them integrate your feedback!
Why be altruistic/help others?
Now we really get knee-deep in this philosophical idea:
WHY be altruistic/help others?
To me. I genuinely love humanity, and I desire to see the thriving of the whole human race. There is nothing that brings me more delight than to see my ideas/feedback/encouragement help empower another human being.
Of course this is a self-ego thing; building the ego of others also builds my ego. And I think this is a good thing. The more that we can all thrive as a human race/species, the better.