Thursday, 16 February 2012

Negative criticism

 In our lifetime, we receive negative criticism a whole lot more than positive feedback. In my opinion, criticism is the catalyst of human evolution. It serves to weed out those characteristics in the human ecosystem which are not conducive to evolution of higher capabilities of the species. Despite the fruits that it bears, the one at the receiving end hardly finds it palatable. Where lies the problem? Is it because of the nature of the receiver or that of the deliverer ?
 Scouring the annals of my mind, the typical pattern that strikes me first is, that the person criticizing with negative feedback, definitely intends to make his disapproval known. And the one receiving the flak gets defensive and feels cornered. So there is the conspicuous negative intonation to it.
 Is it then possible to give a positive twist to it and is it worth the while? These are the questions that I will unravel in this post, with spiritual leanings of course.
 When I started , I used "criticism" and "catalyst of human evolution" in the same breath. So you have all the reason to believe that I am inclined to consider it positive. You are right. Right from the time our cognitive skills kicked in, we have been goaded with smiles and grunts, we have been praised and reprimanded for the right / acceptable and the wrong. Without negative criticism there would be no agreement on what constitutes a civilized society. Hence I am convinced that it is worthwhile exploring the possibility of meting out negative criticism with positive intonation ! This is where my spiritual leanings come to play.
 It is both for the receiver and the deliverer to view it from the lens of spirituality. It is important to let go the sense of ego and understand that it is not humane to be right all the time, and appreciate that all souls are equal, no one is above another, and that every one's view needs to be respected. This will help the receiver open up his mind and see the kernel from the chaff. And will help the one meting out the criticism to provide objective / constructive feedback which will help evolve the individual. This is a definite win-win !

What are your thoughts?

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