Here is something crazy I learned recently. Hitler wanted to be a painter and was rejected from art school. He painted a lot of paintings too. You can find out more at https://allthatsinteresting.com/hitlers-paintingsn and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paintings_by_Adolf_Hitler.
I actually like the details and the subjects of his paintings. It’s unfortunate that his creativity was muted and his life took the direction it took. The article ponders the obvious, how different the world would have been if he had gotten into art school. One can only imagine the heartbreak in Hitler’s backstory that occurred starting with this event to his rise as a dictator.
It makes me think about what is the need to critique people’s art – and even their actions. Yes surely, without some direction we can’t improve, but someone took the time to create a piece of work, why is it necessary for someone to judge what is good or not good about it? Some works might speak to one person more than another, but it holds meaning for the creator.
I remember writing a short poem in college and receiving feedback from the professor (who was a great teacher by the way) something along the lines of the poem being vague and not making sense. However, I remember reading that same poem years later and it made sense to me and I remembered what I was talking about. Perhaps I’m wrong and if that were a poem for the public it would have to be more understandable, but to me, that poem expressed what I wanted it to and I was always content with that. It’s the same with a short story, there aren’t very many I completed, but once I was satisfied with a story, I didn’t really care what feedback I received. (Since I’m usually very critical of my dedication to my writing, I’m taking a moment here to be pleased with myself.)
Our present time is full of criticism. Even the news can’t just report the facts without offering an opinion, and opinion is just that one person’s thought or a particular group’s thought. It would be nice if instead of being so ready to criticize, people could relax and focus on something better.
Hitler is an extreme case, but perhaps violence we currently experience starts out as a seed of criticism and grows like a weed, and eventually takes over. Our own criticism of ourselves, that no one may ever even hear, can keep us from doing things that make our souls happy. Our criticism of others could cause them to misdirect their own frustration at innocent people who couldn’t even begin to know what is bubbling below the surface.
I don’t exactly know how to do this, I could very easily have a critical thought or make a remark moments after completing this post, but the fact that Hitler wanted to be an artist and devastated by criticism is hard to forget.