The Art of Criticism-3

One day, after finishing up, the royal barber said to the king, “Your beard is beginning to turn gray.”

Enraged and offended, the king ordered that the barber be put in jail for one year. He asked one of his courtiers if indeed his beard had any gray hair.

“Almost none at all,” the courtier replied with fear.

“What do you mean by ‘almost’?” the king yelled and sentenced him to a two-year prison term.

He turned to another court attendant and asked, “Do you see any gray in my beard?”

“Gray?” the attendant said raising his hands as if praying, “Your exquisite beard is blacker than the blackest coal, Your Excellency.”

“You liar!” the king shouted. “Guards! Give his man ten lashes on the back and put him in jail for three years.”

Finally, he turned to Nasrudin and said, “Mulla, what color is my beard?”

“Your Majesty,” Nasrudin replied calmly, “I am color blind and cannot answer this question.”

As they say, just because we have something to say doesn’t mean we should say it. And, just because we can say it doesn’t mean we should say all of it. If you are mindful with your words, you are unlikely to hurt others. And if you don’t hurt others, your relationships won’t turn sour. It’s as simple as that.

Backhanded compliments (e.g. wow, you don’t look fat in this dress), sarcastic remarks (I trust you to do that), patronizing empathy (e.g. I told you so), opinionated words (you are doing it all wrong), unsolicited advice (if you lived differently, you’d be more successful etc.) delivered in any tone are demeaning. No listener can appreciate such words. Will you, if you were at the receiving end? Probably not.

All the smiling people we see around, who knows what all they are dealing with on a daily basis in their private lives. Everyone could do with a bit of compassion, loving-kindness and empathy. We don’t have to point out every mistake of the other person. Sometimes, we can ignore. At any rate, if you have nothing nice to say then perhaps you can just be quiet, be non-judgmental.

Before you serve the hot and spicy patty, cushion it with wholesome bread and a bit of salad. Put some seasoning, nice sauce of goodness. Make it easy for the listener to digest your sandwich. And make it a point to see and state the good, the positives too. It makes all the difference. And, each one of us is here to make a difference. To ourselves, to others, to this world. Do it gently. Compassionately. Mindfully.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!


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