Though wise men have often advised ‘Judge ye not…’, yet man insists on judging others, criticising them and passing his judgment. Of course, in this process, he also becomes the object of criticism and judgment. Criticism is one such trait of human personality that comes as naturally to him as heat to the fire or pain to a bleeding wound. We are often advised to treat our critic as our friend, but what actually do we do? Do we welcome our critic or encourage him in his endeavour of our criticism? Are we often not offended with what he says or means to say? Do we not even go to the extent of showing his lapses and faults and even become indifferent to him if not hostile?
In fact, our immediate and spontaneous response to our criticism–deserved or otherwise–is being disturbed, shocked, shattered and even offended or aggrieved. It is very rare that we may straight away thank our critic for reminding us of our weaknesses and shortcomings.
Our effort is to find the fault with the mirror, which might be dusty or hazy and thus blurring the image. All these arguments at self-defense are ironically forgotten when we are criticising others.
Our first reaction is to remind the critic that he/she may not have observed or judged us objectively or may have been biased or even might have been misinformed. When we find that we may have really lapsed in some aspects, our reaction takes a second turn to generalise the habit of errors that almost everybody makes such mistakes and that such mistakes have become so common and thereby ignored in one’s routine life.
Our effort is to find the fault with the mirror, which might be dusty or hazy and thus blurring the image. All these arguments at self-defense are ironically forgotten when we are criticising others. We seem to be surer than the rising of the sun every morning. The response of the guilty before us is invalid and concocted as we seem to be bent upon pronouncing our judgment there and then.
Both these approaches are unhealthy and rather harmful to the social relations and cordial living. What should one do? We can at least do one thing i.e. control ourselves. We can maintain our silence on the issue at least for the time being so that we may be able to assess the whole issue impartially at our leisure and then decide whether our criticism of others or by others was right or not. Whether there would be any need for us to criticise others and whether others were not right in blaming us for this or that thing.
Most important is that I should know what my inner strength is. Whether it is based on my spiritual practice and realisation and whether my outlook to my surroundings is objective, healthy and positive. Briefly self-control and positive approach to men and matters would be the most suitable solution in re-establishing good and healthy social and personal relations.