Sometimes it is important to be reminded that what’s new is probably old. This is a quote that a colleague shared with me. It was written by Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris on July 26, 1781.
“You are sure to be censured by malevolent Criticks and Bug Writers, who will abuse you while you are serving them, and wound your Character in nameless Pamphlets, thereby resembling those little dirty stinking Insects that attack us only in the dark, disturbing our Repose, molesting and wounding us while our Sweat and Blood is contributing to their Subsistence.”
Critics, naysayers, reputation assassins and incivility have been around since our country was founded (and of course, way before). I like the way the word Character shows up in the text showing how it is the very core of what gets harmed when mean-spiritedness and public shaming shows up. And just imagine, this is way before the Internet was born which we tend to blame as the ultimate culprit. Not so apparently.