Q. I’ve heard you say that this is the “Age of the Brain.” I’m about to decide it is really the “Age of Criticism.” There are things I’d like to do in life, but I know someone would criticize my efforts and I doubt I could handle that. I would die if someone criticized my efforts. How do you manage criticism?

A. What a great question. Let me make a few observations—all my own brain’s opinion, of course.

Some of the individuals who are quick to criticize are people who have never done anything that approaches the level of accomplishment and hard work done by the person they are criticizing. My father used to say that anyone could sit in judgement and be critical; few are willing to put in the time, energy, and hard work to put themselves out in the public eye. And if you do that, it is imperative that you are very clear about what you want to accomplish and realize that you will be criticized. Period. Those who have a bent to criticize will not attempt “to walk in your shoes” before drawing all perceived failures to your attention.

However, anyone in the public eye can expect criticism. Recently, I heard that Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and her husband, Prince Philip, were self-isolating outside of Buckingham Palace. This was soon followed by some critical comments on social media such as: “Isn’t that rather selfish?” “Shouldn’t she be up front and center encouraging her ‘people’?” “We don’t have the option of a second residence…” and so on.

Admittedly I am a bit biased having grown up in Canada, part of the British Empire. The Queen is human, just like the rest of us, just with a much more difficult job, and yet I’ve never heard a report of her being unkind to any of her subjects or saying critical things about others. Yes, she has had challenges with some of her adult children, as many parents have, yet she is unfailing kind and supportive and considers them loved members of the family. I am hard pressed to find another “Royal” or “Head of State” or “Dictator” who is a better role model of decorum.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning British monarch and Prince Philip the longest-serving royal consort. They have been married for over 70 years, also the longest-enduring marriage in British royal history. They are both in their 90s—late 90s for Prince Philip. If you’ve been listening to the news about the Coronavirus pandemic, you’ve likely discovered that individuals in that age bracket are at much higher risk of complications if they contract the virus. I think their choice is “healthy selfishness” in action and an example of what everyone is being asked to do within their own lifestyle. Many applaud the choice of the British people to retain a monarchy to give class, history, a draw for tourists that benefits the economy, and a role model of appropriate public demeanor for heads of state. Plus, there is no one that does classy and high-class pageantry better than the British people and the monarchy—and the world loves pageantry. I know I do! My hat is off to her.