Criticism is an activity of uncertain consequences.
Many a time, in the past, when people have asked for my opinion I have watched with dismay as they react with angry defensiveness when I provide them with a critique that includes the positives and the not so positive.
These days I am more cautious, trying to assess before I speak as to whether people are really interested in hearing my feedback.
Which is why when the Italian chef asked me for my opinion of his jam, I was unsure of how to respond.
‘Señora,’ asked the chef again. ‘Did you like my jam?’
A few days later I returned to the café.
The owner of the café saw me but before I had a chance to speak, he said: ‘One large cappuccino and toast with jam. You try it. It is good.’
I smiled and nodded.
After a few minutes, the chef placed an order of toast and jam before me.
‘You were right, Señora,’ said the chef. ‘Too much sugar, but now you can taste each fruit.’
Just looking at the chef’s jam I knew I was in for a treat. Picking up my fork I pierced a whole blackberry and popped it into my mouth. Silky smooth in texture, I could still taste the fruit. Delicious.
Yes, indeed: criticism is an activity of uncertain consequences.
Happily, for me, this was one occasion when someone took on board my comments to cook a positively heavenly, yummy fruits-of-the forest jam.
Until next time, Jo