Thursday, 15 April 2010

Critical criticism

This post is about a new theory I am formulating. So in case you did not like my post on my theory about conquering depression ‘Happily sad’ I shall save your precious time and ask you to read no further.
On second thought, since you are the ones indirectly responsible for me formulating this theory, I would prefer it if you read on.

I have not been blogging regularly for a long time now. The last time I did consider blogging a part of my daily routine was probably a year back. But the number of followers that I still have makes me believe I am still not too bad at it.
One of my recent posts was one in which I had put much thought into. It is very rarely that I can actually control my thought process to derive a conclusion. This particular post was a result of one of such rare phenomenon. Hence it was only human to actually believe that my post was nothing short of incredible. And much to my content many of my friends and followers thought so too. It was after a long time I was actually satisfied with something that I had blogged about. And then someone whose opinion matters a lot to me mentioned how it was quite obviously a terrible post. This is precisely when my theory took birth.

Humans unlike what most people consider do not yearn for praise. On the contrary, I am of the opinion that they yearn for criticism. Until recently I was of the opinion that all man wanted was acceptance into society. But put some thought into it and you will see this could not be further from the truth.

No matter how much praise or lauding a person may acquire a single word of criticism can make him wonder hard about what went wrong. And this, unfortunately, for a perfectionist like me can consume every thought. It does not matter that hundreds of people love what you have created or accomplished, it does not matter that people look up at you, what matters is – one person thought it was nothing short of shit. If criticism was so critical, doesn’t it make one wonder if praise and acceptance are critical at all?

You might argue that without the right amount of praise and positive encouragement eventually a person might give up. But I think without criticism a person will definitely give up trying to do better. Now, addressing the issue about ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ criticism – I am of the opinion that all criticism is clearly positive. It merely depends on how the person in question handles it.

The criticism I received from one person about my post could have been ignored but most people I know would wonder more about it more than about the praise. It is as if we are waiting to be criticized. I could have given up blogging thanks to that person’s point of view – but that is my choice. What course of action I choose to follow is solely my choice. I can either try to get better at what I do or I can give up concluding I cannot outdo myself anymore. The point is criticism is neither ‘positive’ nor ‘negative’. It is the person’s outlook and action that makes it ‘positive’ or ‘negative’.

In conclusion, I would like to state my theory: Humans crave for criticism more than praise because it decides their next step of action. And criticism is neither positive nor negative – it is just a realistic statement that forces one to crash down to reality and wonder which course to take – to try again or to give up.

In short, the critical nature of criticism is often forgotten. It is possibly the most underrated thought evoking form of communication that has ever existed.


Jane Turley said...

Strangely enough, at school I was always one of those sad folks who actually took pleasure in seeing the teacher's red pen marks....

Rineez said...

Well.. surely 100 criticizing responses is better than zero responses. For someone who is trying to pass on a message it means that they are being heard.
When my words or actions gets criticized it means more people are listening to me and thinking over what I say.

On second thought, it is probably neither praise nor criticism that people seek. Instead, it must be attention and response.
Or more accurately being able to leave behind a mark in this world, at least in a few minds.

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