Never Condemn, Criticize and Complain
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”
~ Dale Carnegie
I'm reading and interesting compilation of "50 Inspirational Books to Transform your Life" by Tom Butler-Bowdon. Yes, I love reading books; especially inspirational ones. It does motivate me to read encouraging and positive words, since we are constantly bombarded with negative stuff from the time we wake up in the morning (TV news and programs, newspapers, etc.) to the time we go to bed at night. One of the books discussed is "How to Win Friends and Influence People" - written in 1936 by Dale Carnegie. It's one of the biggest selling books ever. There, Carnegie mentions that "instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them." "Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. 'To know all is to forgive all.'" Wise words...
Isn't it true that it's very easy for us to criticize and judge others? To condemn instead of commend? Isn't it true that we put people down in order to feel better about ourselves (in a morbid kind of way)? We like to feel important, and at times -maybe without even realizing it- we assume arrogant attitudes and pretend that we know better than everyone else; that we are right and others wrong; that we know it all... We like to complain and blame others a lot, instead of assuming responsibility for our actions and misactions. It's only human! But I do firmly believe that we must reflect once in a while on our bad habits and catch ourselves when we are criticizing, judging, condemning and complaining too much; or using any other less-than-flattering attitudes. It's not healthy! It may only make us feel better temporarily, but will not bring us happiness in the long run. It will actually diminish who we are. How can people trust us if we are constantly criticizing and judging others? Our friends may wonder if we are doing the same with them. I've seen a great number of people doing this many times: gossiping and criticizing some of their so-called best friends with the rest of the world. If they are your friends, you really shouldn't do this. We must learn to be more understanding, compassionate, loving, forgiving and kind.
In trying to get along with others, and being accepted by others, we fall into these bad habits with ease. You may say: "Everyone does this, it's not a big deal!" Yes, many people do it, it is true! I've done it too. It is one of our most common weaknesses (to put others down, somehow). But we can change and be different! We can stand for our beliefs and values, and stop corrosive behaviors. I strongly feel that in order to become better persons, we must make it our challenge to stop all of our negative behaviors through "awareness." We must try our best to stop our negative attitudes and habits, and learn to develop more caring and loving ones, in order to "improve" ourselves. In the end, it will make us feel better (and others will feel better too) - I promise! We will develop more confidence (an increase in our self-esteem). In fact, to judge and criticize others too much is simply a sign of low self-esteem. We really don't feel that good about ourselves, so we have to put others down in order to feel better. Ironic, isn't it?
Let's appreciate others! Let's make them feel valuable and important! Let's be sincerely interested in who they are, what they like and what makes them tick. Let's empower them! Let's listen! Let's be grateful and graceful! Then like a boomerang this appreciation towards others will come back to us in positive ways: we will feel appreciated, loved, valued and really good, in general. It's part of being a person of good character and integrity. It takes work; maybe even a lifetime - but it is worth it! Carnegie's principle: "Give honest and sincere appreciation..." makes sense! And I add, it is up to us to make the best out of our lives and our relationship with others; it is up to us to create a peaceful world. Once we understand the concept that we are not that different from the rest of us, that we have a lot in common... we will get along better! We will be able to find peaceful ways to coexist.
Carnegie also said: "The person who really understands this craving for appreciation will also know how to make people happy." We can draw the best out of others instead of the worst. We should concentrate in the good (the beauty) not the bad (the ugly). Once we see people this way (with loving and kind eyes), our relationships will improve and we will find peace. So, in order to be happier, let's follow his advice: never condemn, criticize and complain!
[Of course this doesn't mean that I never condemn certain horrific acts committed by certain human beings: like the terrible recent shooting in Tuczon, Arizona, or the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, or the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, or so many other unexplainable acts committed by our fellow humans against others - especially against those who cannot defend themselves, like young children - and so many others (like the Holocaust). Any violation to our most basic human rights and acts against humanity, must be condemned. The hope is that we learn from these awful experiences and our tragic history to become stronger, and to "together" do something positive to help prevent acts like these from happening. There's a lot that our country and our world can do in order to promote peace and live in peace.]