This blog has been going strong for nearly 10 years, and over those years we have been occasionally criticized, both publicly and privately. (You should see some of the comments we've blocked.)
We've also seen of a multitude of comments directed at individuals and organizations who are working hard, trying to do good in our area community. (For those of you living outside of Dorchester, you know this happens everywhere else, too, and always has.)
Whether you are a public servant, business owner, volunteer, employee, student, teacher, school official, parent, or neighbor, it is safe to say you've been criticized more than once for just doing your job and trying to improve a situation.
It's not fair, but it's life. It's part of the human experience. Always has been.
This week, the Dorchester Times (on its FaceBook account) was criticized (softly, mind you) for a poorly worded headline to our story summarizing the DHS volleyball season up to this point.
We know the athletes of DHS work hard, and that their hard work is why they've racked up 10 wins already this season -- but the headline implied that a winning record was now in doubt. (We've changed the headline on the blog.)
The reason we admire DHS students who go out for athletics is because they learn life's lessons early. They learn at a young age how to endure pressure, competition, scrutiny, fatigue and even ridicule on rare occasion.
But rewards also come with all that -- from self-confidence, to leadership, to the appreciation of teamwork and training. These kids will be better adults for their experience.
Most importantly, they are learning that their efforts matter more than the words of the carping critics, some of whom never had the guts themselves to do what the student athletes are doing.
For those students, we leave this quote:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt, April 1910