One of the most common human behaviours I am privy to not only where others are concerned but within myself over the years and still even now it slips in at times despite my best conscious efforts not to go there, is that of being critical.
It’s SO easy to be critical because that is our conditioning. It astounds me that we actually have an economic industry of “critics” who get paid to go and see, listen to, or experience others creative endeavours and “critique” them which they then feel it necessary to publish. If the creative persons interpretation of something they have gone to experience isn’t in line with the critics perception – too bad so sad they receive a “bad” review that ripples out to others and has a domino effect which can limit severely the amount of folk who go and see or experience it for themselves and decide whether they enjoy it or not, based purely on what someone else says. It is also often the case that many who are standing in the wings and not even involving themselves in something or aren’t even aware of what is REALLY going on, on the stage, take it upon themselves to be critical of what the ones on the stage are doing, in all areas of life. Yet we all perceive and do things differently.
Just watch any group of people for e.g. in an art class – all can be looking at the same tree which they are to paint and yet every single painting each creates will be totally different not only to the tree given as an example, but to each others trees. How truly miraculous is that?! Yet so often in so many situations another will say no that’s not how you do it, you “NEED” to do it this way. How so and who says so?
Everything we do is an act of unique creation so how can it be that we have fallen into this trap of being so critical and judgmental? We seem to live in a society that is full of competition and judgement which starts not long after birth. It’s rampant in our schools, in politics, in sports, in workplaces, it’s persistent in those “Women’s” magazines where celebrities are criticised for just about everything from wearing a pair of track pants out to the local shop to having their hair done a certain way. In more recent times on television screens and other media it is also rampant by way of “reality” shows where folk compete against each other to reach a temporary status of “winner” and being labelled “the best”. The label being given to them by “judges” who are really only just sharing their perception of another’s “performance” in a given moment. Yet that perception in that moment of being “judged” can absolutely crush another’s dream and devastate the person who isn’t given the label of “the winner.”
It’s so often the case that if folk don’t do things the way we think they should be done or how we ourselves would do them rarely do we stop to ask questions. Instead, out of our heads and mouths, usually automatically, will come all sorts of “stuff” that is judgmental and critical which perhaps whilst not consciously meaning to do harm, does – just like the critic who published their opinion.
This has been disguised to make it more palatable in recent times by being labelled “constructive criticism”. I personally don’t understand how any criticism is “constructive” – giving and receiving honest and respectful feedback however is a totally different ball game. Words float around all the time about not judging others, about “loving” and accepting yourself and others as they are and hey if those others are rattling your cage with a big stick no worries just shrug it off and walk away – not always that easy though is it?
Phrases have long been within the minds of humanity along the lines of – Don’t judge another lest you be judged; Don’t be so busy pulling the splinter out of someone else’s eye that you can’t see the lump of wood in your own; People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; Let he who is without sin cast the first stone; He who points a finger at another will find three pointing back at him, and on it goes.
When people bring forth their best endeavours, ideas and passions to create a more peaceful, love filled, tolerant and respectful world for all, they have often landed up being persecuted, imprisoned, harshly criticised or dead for their efforts for what they are doing or saying. Why? Have we all really become so arrogant as to think that there is only one way to see or do something, our way? Further down the track when it is often way too late, others begin to see what the person was doing and saying with more clarity and then those who were working solidly to create change are treated as heroes, legends or saints.
Sadly they are often no longer even alive by the time the rest of society catches up. It’s often the case that a person or people with “vision” will see much that others clearly do not yet see and due to their passion to manifest that “vision” they run with it whole heartedly, only to be continually met by others trying to pick to pieces what they are doing. What exactly does that achieve I wonder, besides perhaps maybe making the picker feel good about themselves in some bizarre way, like they are “better” than the one who has gotten off their butt, stopped whinging about a situation, and is actually doing something to change that situation for the better, not just for themselves but more importantly for others.
On the flipside to this we have all this information and push occurring about not bullying, teamwork, collaboration etc., and yet many of the so-called political “leaders” in this world are still coming out of the mental and emotional framework of Ego, criticism, one upmanship, bullying tactics, abuse and judgement even though we are given examples time and time again of what actually happens when we ALL work together to achieve something. Is that I wonder part of the reason why “natural disasters” occur, so that we can more consciously become aware of the part of our nature that is supportive, kind, empathetic, loving and compassionate? Collaboration NOT competition will get us ALL wherever we are wanting to go way faster than if we spend our time and energy constantly being judgemental and critical of what others in this world are doing and bickering amongst ourselves about whatever.
Someone close to me has a beautiful expression they often use which I love – The world would be a better place if everyone minded their own business. This person does not mean that we should not care about each other or support each other, they mean that each and every person (unless they are incapacitated in some way) is fully capable of doing whatever it is they need to do for themselves and that we would all live in a better world if we were ALL working together and supporting each other, not wasting our precious time and lives in these temporary physical bodies, trying to tear others down whilst our Egos climb whatever ladder to success they decide to climb, ripping people off or ripping them to shreds, gossiping, judging, undermining and criticising them, telling them they are “wrong” or giving them “advice” when it hasn’t even been asked for.
This person is also referring to those situations where we are doing something and another comes along and takes over because in the other’s eyes we are not doing “it” right. They are of the opinion that this unintentionally diminishes the person who was doing it their own way and shows disrespect. Quite simply humanity has created the present mess in this world, no-one else, and no-one is coming to “save” us, or the planet. The Politicians don’t give a hoot for they cannot see what many of us can clearly see and we are ALL simply just going to have to pull our big girl and boy knickers up clear out our own muck and heal our wounds, so we stop projecting it all onto others if we want anything at all to change.
The time of separation – of you, me, us, them, right, wrong, greed, slavery to jobs that just create nothing but stress and sickness to all life on this planet is coming to an end. Honestly can you actually even begin to imagine how much more we would ALL achieve in this world if the amount of time, money and energy we spent on sticking our noses into other folks business, being critical and judgemental, bickering or gossiping about this, that and the other was actually spent on creating the type of world we not only want to live in but pass on to our children and grandchildren?
It has always been said that our children are our future and whilst I was a child I really didn’t have a say in the future I would be living in. I was often told by my Grandfather though you can achieve anything you want to in this world and so far all I have set out to achieve I have accomplished but there is still more, so much more I want to achieve. Now that I am living in the future I was told about as a child, as a mature aged woman, it is not at all the future I envisioned it could be but I can have a say now and I am so very passionate and driven about doing everything in my power, by collaborating, not competing with others, via The Wellness Universe, other initiatives and with folk who are near and dear to me, to assist in creating the future I did envision as a child that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. A world where there is full collaboration, peace, love, understanding, respect for all life, compassion, gratitude, joy, beauty and creative vision and as John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a Dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will BE as one”.
I may never get to see a world like the one I envision but that doesn’t mean for a second I can’t and won’t do whatever I can to help create it. We are ALL in this world together regardless of our social status, gender, sexual preferences, financial situation, religion or religious beliefs, varying skin colours, ages etc., It doesn’t matter diddly squat what job we do that we label with a name or how well known or not known we are in the world, and for the sake of all the children, grandchildren and generations yet to come into this world, I truly do hope and yes I even pray (even though I am not for once second “religious”) that we ALL start spending way more time collaborating and supporting each other to create a better world than the one we have been left with by those who came before us, than we have been and often do spend criticising and judging each other.
Copyright. C. O’Connor.
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