“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself;
he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it. To being honest with ourselves… and to overcoming the challenge. We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it. With that honesty, as Goethe states, the criticism “will gradually yield to him.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766, he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.