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Criticism - Boon or Bane?

By J. Agustin S. Dizon

A commonly accepted meaning of criticism is "fault-tending or occupation of a critic."

In life, often than not we encounter numerous critics. The reason perhaps is that it is so easy to be critical although most critics cannot come up with constructive alternatives.

A writer Francois Fevelon puts it succinctly when he said "It is our own imperfection which makes us reprove the imperfection of others - a sharp - sighted self- love of our own which cannot pardon the self-love of others.

It is a hornbook rule for critics to know that the only way to live happily with people is to overlook their faults and admire their virtues.

As a rule, criticism can be avoided easily if only we say nothing, do nothing and being nothing. But this kind of behavior can hardly be done although possible.

A great number of psychologists are of the view that the best way to make a man your enemy is to tell simply, "you are wrong". This method works well every time.

If at all, criticism is to be hurled on any person, the critic should have the heart to help. The goal of one's criticism should be to leave the person criticized with the feeling that he's been helped; otherwise, criticism cannot be justified in any manner.

A critical person who has aspiration for greatness ought to take cognizance of the fact that in the history of mankind, no statute has ever been erected to honor a critic in remembrance of his criticisms against fellow human beings.

Those who find themselves ridiculed by criticisms may find solace in the truth that to be ridiculed may give us communion with the Lord Jesus Christ but to ridicule others will place us in fellowship with his persecutors. During His calvary, He was immeasurably ridiculed and humiliated.

It can well be said that what the world needs from ages to ages and throughout human history are persons who can overlook their brothers' and sisters' fault as easily as they do their own. It would be nice if we could find wealth as easily as we find fault. We would all be rich.

To those who have a penchant for criticizing others, it would be good and beneficial for them to heed the advice of the writer John Wanamaker who said "whatever you have to say to people be sure to say it in words that will cause them to smile and you will be on pretty safe ground. And when you do find it necessary to criticize someone put your criticism in the form of a question which the other fellow is practically sure to have to answer in a manner that he becomes his own critic."

In human history, it has been recorded that great minds have always encountered violent criticisms from mediocre minds. Usually, the critics are lesser mortals than those they criticize. And when it can be said that they belittle others, they are just trying to cut them down to their size.

As many would agree, no one can live in this world without being blamed and criticized by others. People blame others for their silence. They blame those who talked too much and those who talked in moderation. There is therefore no one in this world that is not blamed. In fact, there never was, nor will there be anyone who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.

The writer of this article, who had served as a trial judge for 35 long years, prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals would say that in the dispensation of justice, those engaged in its ministry like judges and justices are often made the objects of unfounded, unfair and malicious criticisms that tend to erode the people's faith and trust in them. As victims of unjust criticisms, nothing can assuage them except the balm of a clean conscience. Verily, I am of the view that any unfair criticism hurled against righteous judges and justices will bounce back to their critics who ultimately will be made to suffer because of their bad karma. As the Bible says "Be not deceived for God is not mocked. Whatever a man soweth, he shall reap."

Nowadays, it is quite interesting to note that the famous Fr. Fernando Suarez noted for his divine healing method has not been spared of criticisms especially from some of his fellow priests.

What cannot be denied however by his critics is the fact that many are beneficiaries of his divine method of healing as attested by those whom he healed of their sickness. It is not at all impossible but possible as his critics would know and realize that anyone deserving can be made the channel of the divine considering that the body of a man is a temple of the Holy Spirit as Catholic Christians do believe.




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