We seem to be spending a lot of our time and energy on criticizing something or someone. It’s sadly true that we do witness an endless amount of unpleasant situations that do justify these criticisms. However, today I’m more interested in the criticism of people, which denote much smaller worlds. So many of us criticize so many people we know and don’t know. For example, a few days ago I criticized someone who complained about raising a child even though they had a nanny and didn’t work. As I found their complaint groundless, due to my thought that they had enough time and support, did I, in turn, support those friends of mine who do raise children on their own? Or did I fail the empathy test that Ege wrote about last week?
Let’s say that someone who doesn’t know us quite that well says something about us. Something that doesn’t reflect the truth, is wrong or lacking. If we think and care that they have come to this conclusion because they don’t know us that well, then we begin to list our explanations. But, do we know everyone that well? While we blame a set of exterior factors when our conduct is the subject, isn’t it unfair to blame a person’s character when it comes to the conduct of others?
If the goal is to reach some kind of inner harmony, then perhaps we should start by removing the burden of prejudice from our shoulders. We can use these criticisms, before they ever leave our mouths, to get to know ourselves. If a thought about someone else inevitably carries a piece of us, then it could also carry our personal life lessons, our fears, or our desires we’re unable to admit.
Let’s not forget that no one has to see the world as we do. Next time you feel the need to criticize someone negatively, try to stay silent. Apart from clearing the chance of ‘not dying without experiencing what we criticize,’ the sense of litheness and freedom will be priceless.
PS: I apologize and wish all the best to all the mothers who don’t work and have a nanny.