Seeking the Cure

If I were given the power to cure just one ill that haunts mankind, I would pass up cancer, breeze by AIDS, and overlook heart disease because curing the malady I have in mind might just cure most of the others as a side effect.

The cure I would seek would be the cure for criticism. No disease shrivels up the souls of innocent children, destroys the family unit, ruins the business place, incapacitates government, nor produces stress like criticism. The terrible three (criticism, judgmentalism, and complaint) do more to dishearten the spirit and, in general, create misery, pain, and sorrow than anything else I have ever encountered. It is so commonplace that, in many cases, we don’t even pause to take note when words of criticism are voiced. Sitcoms find their success in “put downs” while millions watch and laugh.

Criticism is so hideous that we even label criticism as “constructive” and “destructive” so we can invalidate someone and tell them that it is for their own good. Of course, there are times when we might share an opinion or offer a suggestion. This, however, can be done without “pointing the finger of guilt.” I believe that criticism is always subjective and therefore the opinion of the criticizer, not absolute truth. Blame heals no one or no thing.

Millions go through life rarely being told how much their love and support mean to the ones their sacrifices benefit. The world is hungering for appreciation and praise. How seldom it is given. How precious it is! Tell those who support or serve you how much it means to you. It costs nothing and will pay big dividends—mutually. Recycle praise; it never gets old!

Although I don’t have the cures, I do consider appreciation and praise to be antidotes. Here are some ingredients we can add to our formula: love, consideration, reason, communication, humbleness, awareness, gentleness, kindness, and patience. If people know that our feelings toward them are nurturing, they will help find common grounds to work things out. If we act like an adversary, we will be treated as one. As always, the choice is yours.

I decided to list the benefits of being critical, judgemental or just complaining so we all can take a deeper look at it. Please think deeply about “The Benefits of Criticism.”

The Benefits of Criticism

• You get to watch people’s face drop and spirit sink.
• You make it known that you are expressing a loveless soul.
• You get to teach children that they are inadequate or unlovable.
• You get to stunt the growth of a person who is struggling.
• You get to stop progress in the business environment.
• You get to undermine everyone around you.
• You get to create bad feelings wherever you go.
• You get to perpetuate racism and warlike thinking.
• You get to nip creativity in the bud.
• You get to teach intolerance.
• You get to start arguments.
• You get to watch people’s face drop and spirit sink.
• You make it known that you are expressing a loveless soul.
• You get to hurt the feelings of the people who love you.
• You get to attract criticism to yourself.
• You get to bring disharmony to a peaceful place.
• You get to stifle the dynamics of unity.
• You get to add stress to your life and everyone else’s.
• You get to create the conditions for disease. (The most common cause of disease is stress.)
• You get to turn the work place into chaos and discontent.
• You get to stifle artistic creativity.
• You get to invalidate and intimidate others.
• You get to break people’s hearts and will.
• You get to break up families.
• You get to make yourself feel that you are better than someone else. Although this is the real payoff, disempowering others to make yourself “right”, it doesn’t guarantee that they will agree.

It might seem simplistic to say this, but giving up the need to criticize, if taken as your only redeeming project in this lifetime, would do more to heal the world than anything else you, or anyone else, could do. Imagine what would happen if a few of us really were committed to giving up the need to control others by criticizing them. What if we gave up the need to be “right”, which is merely a subjective concept having nothing to do with reality? Imagine this catching on! Imagine more and more people offering love, praise, appreciation and gratitude in place of blame, criticism, judgmentalism and self-righteousness. We could revolutionize the world. How about it? I’m game, how about you?

Remember, you’ll seldom change someone with criticism, but often insult or hurt them. But then again, don’t expect me to criticize you if you do.

Author's Bio: 

Todd Puntolillo is a motivational speaker, inspirational columnist and author of Love,Wisdom and Healing, a book written to teach the healing of mind, body and soul and a way for creating a better life and a better world. His healing practice is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and he can be reached through his web site.