“Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.”
Nobody likes criticism, which means that it is counterproductive to everything. Criticism is negative by nature, so it never produces a positive response and usually serves to make people feel inadequate or unhappy. We live in a culture that feels free to criticize everything from product ingredients to politicians to body type and size. All the criticizing we are doing as a culture doesn’t seem to be making anything better and it certainly isn’t creating a spirit of good cheer.
A dose of the daily news right now will leave you feeling somewhat hopeless. Most of it is criticism in one form or another. We listen to that and then we start out the door on our own personal criticizing crusade…the husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife didn’t do this or that, the kids didn’t pick up, the traffic is terrible, the coffee line is too long, people can’t drive, work isn’t rewarding, we feel fat, we look old…the list goes on and on throughout the day. The criticisms aren’t limited to other people or things; often we are most critical of ourselves.
When we are done finding fault with ourselves, we happily continue onto what is wrong with everyone and everything else. We all do it; even the most intelligent, transformed people easily fall into the trap of criticizing.
It is such an automatic response for us that most times we don’t even realize how critical we are being until the words are out of our mouths.
Good to remember that until every, single part of our lives is in impeccable shape we have no right, nor invitation to find fault. We all have room for improvement and we don’t like it when anyone points that out to us, so what makes us think that anyone feels good about our criticism?
What if instead of criticizing we praised and acknowledged or just kept quiet? There is something to that old adage, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.’ People know when they need to improve something; they don’t need us to point it out. Right now people need encouragement to do better, to be better.
Just for today try and refrain from being critical of yourself and everyone else…either give praise or be silent and see how that feels and what miracles can occur from that shift in behavior…
Have a good Saturday.