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Let's Talk About "Criticism"

I am a financial analyst currently working at a management consulting firm in Mumbai. I am trying my hands on blogging lately!

It's only recently that I learned about Hubpages as a platform to express our views, so I decided to explore this path and see how it goes! Like it's always said, not everyone figures out everything entirely at a certain point. I have recently discovered my ability to write and hope those who are reading this find it worthy.

Okay! That was a brief introduction about myself. Let's cut to the chase. On reading the topic, what would you feel? Maybe some righteous talk on how not to take it personally and get some feeling wherein I would say, "It's for you how you take it, life is 90% what happens and 10% how we react". Well, I am afraid to be apologetic; you will not witness anything like this.

Now, what does criticism in itself mean? A popular meaning can be cited as "a review on something which is not positive or an act of resentment towards that." Everything is fine as long as it remains to this. The issue arises when criticism is a personal attack and not as a mere act of condemning something.

letstalkaboutcriticism

Well, it has got to do something with the person criticizing too, if the criticism is not merely on the idea and is more moving towards the person's religion, race or ethnicity, where there is hyper generalizing of the entire community and absorbing them within a nutshell to disrepute them. That's where the real problem lies.

Now, it's not uncommon for us to witness any popular public figure state something on a particular topic, and we have mobs rioting against it as an act of contempt. It's solely because we are never able to perceive things in a rational way. There are two parts to this: the person making the criticism and the person receiving the criticism. Let's explore.

The person making the criticism

The person making the criticism, if he is someone with malicious intent or targeting the person as a whole and not the ideology put forth, is where the issue arises. Criticism has to be only on the ‘idea,’ not on the entire person. It has never to be the absorption of the whole person’s habits, talking style, personality traits, or any form of attack on the community.

The person at the receiving end of the criticism

The person who is receiving criticism should also understand how it has to be perceived. Like mentioned, as long as it pertains to the ideology, it should be fine. There is no idea in the world that is full proof and that there won’t exist any flaws. It’s when it moves beyond that.

With that being explored, now let’s consider some examples to better articulate this or probably relate to it.

letstalkaboutcriticism

Politics

It is a controversial topic, so I will not commit the mistake of siding anyone or taking any individual names. Isn’t it uncommon we see political parties often taking a jibe against each other? What do they do?

In a bid to make themselves supreme and gain an increase in their vote bank, they keep targeting their rivals, and in a lot of cases, things are not limited merely to the extent of verbal instigation. Things have gotten worse in this region. In fact, to a major extent, this is done so that people don’t follow the particular political wing and support them. Well, that’s my take on how criticism gets ruined in itself in politics

letstalkaboutcriticism

Academics

Another aspect is of life very close to us. When you score low in a semester or a subject, what do you feel? Doesn’t it let you down? Here’s where the catch is. You have scored low in ‘one exam’ or in a particular portion. It doesn’t summarize your entire career into that. You still have scope to improve yourself. You cannot solely crack a specific test. It never means you are incapable of performing and lack intelligence. Consider a possibility that there is always a set of questions in any exam; if the questions were different, wouldn’t the case exist of scoring well?

letstalkaboutcriticism

Teachers/Professors

Well, this can be said as a subset of schools and colleges, but there’s a bit of elaboration needed here. Teachers play a significant role in our lives. Take my example; during my kindergarten days, I faced an issue in learning alphabets and math. However, the teacher who was in my classroom was short-tempered and quite impatient while dealing with children. It was she who called my parents to school and told: “Your child is weak and needs to go to a special school for the disabled.” Well! I don’t intend to demean the disabled, but they are capable in several ways and should be accepted by society in due spirit. Now again, the teacher was summarizing my capacities as an individual merely due to my poor performance in academics. This is again the unfair criticism that I am addressing. Instead, this could have put it up as “Your son needs attention and some encouragement to take up challenges and improve himself.”

letstalkaboutcriticism

Parents and family members

Quite often, we see this in parents too. In a fit of rage, you might have heard, "You are good for nothing. You are quite irresponsible in life." Well, in their case, we need to consider that it's not their intention to make you feel low; instead, we need to be considerate that they also face a lot of negative emotions while raising children, and they do falter at certain places. I have come across some parents who are always pointing faults in their children to correct them, making them grow up with many personality disorders. They tend to feel they aren't capable of living in this world as a happy fellow being and a misfit.

The point I try to make by this, be open to criticism. Well, just as this write-up is criticizing certain areas where criticism is itself done the wrong way.

Final Note:

Criticism is essential for the simple thing that if ideas are never challenged/never called out the society or masses as a whole will never be informed about the nuances involved in it. To be honest, we would be a dumb population which can be easily manipulated for selfish motives. You will keep getting a packaged commodity or a form of propaganda from the perpetrator who has made it in such a way in order get you on to their side and win your trust. It’s always healthy to have someone criticize something but as mentioned in a right manner, rather to say without any mallace intended on the individual as a whole and restricted to the ideaology.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abhishek Panegal

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