By Rachid Acim
By Rachid Acim
Morocco World News
Beni Mellal, Morocco, June 8, 2012
When a person tells you, “You are less educated,” does he mean it? Do you get angry or you keep silent as if nothing happened? When another person interrupts you while talking, and tells you in public, “You are talking nonsense,” do you stop or you carry on your talk as if nothing serious occurred?
These are some among thousand of criticisms we are more likely to face daily. Our society is doubtlessly a society of pure negative criticism. We are criticized at home for not being able to live on our own, maintain some sort of autonomy and be as reliable as our parents had been. We are criticized in the street for our way of dressing, walking and talking amongst the crowds. Hardly, do people leave you at ease, so happy with the mode of conduct and living you have developed in your milieu.
Admittedly, some people never take the risk. They therefore wait until others dive under the sea, then they start bombarding them with many hostile remarks, showing lack of human soundness and maturity in reasoning. Worse, we tend to throw up our anger at people in different settings simply because they did not please us sufficiently. Maybe they did not like our haircut or our ideas. Mother Teresa was right when she proclaimed, “If you (mis)judge people you will have no time to love them.”
Then, no matter what you do, you are going to be neither praised nor thanked for what you did. There is something wrong in our education. Our schoolteachers might have taught us the basics of math, physics and foreign languages, but I guess they have been incapable of imparting to us another knowledge we all seem to lack. That is what criticism is all about.
In a football stadium, spectators keep shouting at football players for not being able to play the ball perfectly, score goals skillfully, and, if ever we invite one of the spectators to take part in the game, they will never raise a finger. The same thing can be said of the music jury judging candidates’ voices and performances in TV shows and subsidiary music competitions.
We cannot deny that our society is laden with many talents in many domains. They need only encouragement, our strong applause to perform well, and consequently, make wonders when time allows. Because they are subject to a given criticism from friends, relatives, even from other people, close enough to them these talents fade away by time. There is none to quicken them.
Our social environment, unfortunately, did not teach us how to keep silent and let others do their work. But let us make it clearer. We should differentiate between constructive criticism that tends to help one perform better and destructive criticism that tends to force one to perform worse.
It is believed that Western societies have surpassed us since they could make of a fiasco a successful man. In our context, the converse proves correct. In an English classroom for example, wherein the teacher is English or American, they will praise the students’ efforts and school assignments committedly. There is all the time a good reinforcement, a nice reward mixed up with a lovely smile, all of which instill positive feelings such as confidence and self-reliance in these students.
I am afraid this is not the case with us. Some teachers do not recognize their students’ efforts at all. They may frown at them. They may shout at them, belittle them in front of their peers for not being able to come up with the right answer. The same student finds it hard to do more efforts as s/he has already been destroyed mentally and psychologically. So, efforts one could do go in vain. It turned out that we became a society of fiascos and we do not know.
Many brilliant students, as a result, lost hopes and were resolute to drop out of school because of this or that teacher. There might be one word that was embarrassing and hurt for the student. Thereby, s/he had nothing but to look for other alternatives apart from schooling.
In meetings open to the public, there are some people who are strongly keen on humiliating others by unsolvable questions they would unaltruistically ask. Very often, one is more likely to hear phrases such as “You need to address the issue differently” or “Your work lacks credibility, validity” or “You are in the wrong truck, dude!” and so on.
As for the interrogator, he himself is subject to an inflammatory criticism from the audience. Some people had no job but to backbit, criticize others’ initiatives. Again, one could hear phrases such as “But he is just showing off!”; “That guy, I know him, he does not stop it”…etc. And if one keeps silent, s/he is viewed as being inapt, unqualified for the task at hand. This is very confusing indeed.
Whatever one does, one must expect, why not accept, some sort of criticism. Not all people will throw flowers on you. Likewise, not all of them will throw stones on you. Whereas certain people are ready to resist the seriously angry waves, other people are very much fragile, by nature sensitive to the game, and they will never bear offensive remarks, incendiary insults, other words that hurt to injury.
Our ancestors told us not to be like heads; they are sustaining lots of aches.
When one chooses to be a representative of a people, I think s/he should bear all criticisms. The media has to play its leading role in making a people alive to cases of theft of public treasury, corruption through ongoing criticism to cause these people to leave their positions and let others who may prove more trustworthy to take the torch of change.
We are fed up listening to promises that will never be fulfilled. So, let’s criticize.
It is beautiful to correct people’s mistakes, but this should be done politely, with much courtesy. None is perfect I do believe. Observes Alexander Pope, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” Those who are hankering after glory and success had better give a deaf ear to any criticism befalling on them from others. The deaf frog story has surely a morale.
It is related that a bunch of small frogs arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. Those who were present at the competition kept discouraging the small frogs mouthing statements like, “Oh, it’s difficult”, “You have no way to succeed”, “Just quit the race, the tower is very high.”
Not much time passed, many frogs started falling one after the other, excepting one little frog who was determined to climb higher and higher. This frog did not surrender and all were amazed at her. She reached the top after great efforts she did. When the other frogs wanted to know her secret of success, they discovered that the winning frog was deaf!
At some moments of our lives, we have attacked many people, intimidated them amidst other fellows and we did not realize that. We have criticized others and we did not mean it. We laughed at them, and we triggered a huge laughter on the side of others to tease certain people not out of hostility, enmity, but mainly because we enjoyed it. We did not imagine what the situation would be like if we were in their shoes.
Aesop recounted the story of an old man and his son who were going to the market with their donkey. As they were walking pulling their donkey, a countryman stopped them and said; “You fools, what a donkey for but to ride upon?”
Immediately, the man asked his son to ride the donkey and they went on their way. As soon as they passed by a herd of men, one of them addressed the son: “See that lazy boy, he is riding the donkey and his father is walking.”
Upon hearing this, the man asked his son to get off, and then rode on the donkey. As they went on, two women, one of whom said to the other; “Shame on that old man. He rides the donkey and lets his son trudge along.”
Not knowing what to do, the man took his son before him and they went on their way. As they arrived in the town, the passersby started to jeer at them, then murmured to each other: “So stupid! They aren’t ashamed for overloading that poor donkey.”
The man and his son thought deeply about what to do, then decide to cut down a pole, tie the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. All people began to laugh at them and take them for fools. When they came to the market bridge, the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and urged the boy to drop his end of the pole.
In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together caused him to be drowned.
A wise man who had been following the two, said; “That will teach you, please all, and you will please none.”