Tonight is one of those nights in which I’m thankful that I waited until the end of the day to pause and reflect on what I am grateful for. I have mentally composed and edited about three different posts for tonight. While I’ve been thankful for Inertia, a Great Yoga Date, the Power of Focus, and a few other things long the way. All that said, I called in a Hail Mary at the end that. It is something that always puts a smile on my face and causes the awesomeness to well up a little in corners of my eyes.
For some reason the boys have suddenly started getting hooked on a couple of cooking shows. So much so that Gavin has talked Becky into baking a cake this weekend – a cherry chocolate cake. As we started wrapping up the night we turned on the TV and were watching another cooking show. It has amateur chefs competing for $10k and they have limited resources – especially time. As each round closes the contestants offer their food up to three critics who determine which chef will be eliminated that round. After the second round of judging we all were on the same page, two of the critics were flat out snobby jerks. It almost seemed as if they got a kick out of crushing the dreams of the contestant. The growth mindset is core to who I am and I am always looking for a good dose of healthy criticism… This wasn’t that, this was derogatory.
That’s when the smile crossed my face and I remembered one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite Disney movies, Ratatouille. At the end of the movie the arrogant and seemingly heartless critic realizes the error of his ways and offers up the following insight:
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the “new”. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.”
When I catch myself critiquing something or someone or some idea it is either this or one of a few other things that I can hear whispering to me in the back of my head. This lesson and the others say this to me in a very kind way that cuts deep, almost the way that a parent expressing their disappointment in you, and saying it in a way that you know that they still love you. That is one of the toughest stings to bear.
And that’s why I am so thankful for this reminder of the quote from Ratatouille tonight. It sticks with me and when I listen to it whispering in my ear it hurts so much, but it it in that pain of self disappointment that motivates to keep trying to be better. This one little line from a family movie has the power to rock me to the core and take time to reflect on my thoughts and actions.