A strange culture of criticism pervades life these days, where everyone is a critic- setting sights on errors and indiscretions, more on achievements and triumphs. Today, with social media, self-appointed critics deluge you with opinions and ratings. Everyone has a view on where PM Narendra Modi is going wrong and what his next step should be. A minister just has to open his mouth before media pounces and makes it a matter of national debate, involving wilting insults and shattering downers. With eyes trained on indiscretions, we ignore the achievements and recognition. Have we become a nation of critics? Has the habit of condemnation and faultfinding is now a pastime, if yes, we need to sound the danger bells.
Today, people love having an opinion, preferably negative. And so, slowly the limelight has shifted from proud moments to a side of criticism and stereotypes. We have come to the stage of “good news” is “No news”. Criticism and pulling down others to feel good about you is a sign of low self-esteem.
Everyone has an opinion and that is fine- but people get judgmental and sometimes cruelly so. Some people are so critical all the time that it becomes difficult to discuss anything with them. Their first response is negative- a sure way to discourage others from coming to you with ideas. Are you sure you are not one of them? Most such negative souls are unaware of this trait and claim they criticize because they are honest and they care. 🙂
Everyone wants a success story. Some get theirs by working hard; some by pulling down others and so seemingly taller. However, those who are truly superior do not need to prove anything by pulling down others. Leaving aside the importance of constructive criticism, it helps us grow as a part of learning curve.
Today, we have become people waiting to pounce and denounce on social media. Each one is a potential journalist or sleuth, waiting to be propelled to fame with the latest muck to hit the ceiling, hoping for a post that goes viral. And this attitude then spills over into real life. A critical eye knows no limits.
Experience tells us that positive strokes work far better than ridicule. We have the power to make or break people through exposes. But we also still retain the power to motivate and galvanize the good amongst us. And in order to indulge in one, we must not forget the other!
When we criticize, let us also stay attuned to the good in those we deride. As my previous boss/mentor (Srikanth Sir, hope you are reading this…:)) said to me one day, “Whenever, anyone comes to me with a complaint, I insist on first hearing something good about the person they wish to criticize, for everyone must have some good in them too.” And I left with a smile.