Tag Archive | criticism

Criticism & Empathy

IMG_14170883_1(1)

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is an interesting perspective and I agree for the most part. Sometimes criticism is necessary or good. Constructive criticism that is.

But it’s not always necessary. And not always good. Some of us really do have more advantages or experience than others, experience that helps us make better decisions or contributes to us ending up certain ways that others do not.

We may not even realize it. We all have walked  different paths in this life, experienced different things, have different backgrounds and upbringings, biology/genetics, opportunities and things that all contribute to us getting where we are right now. Ultimately it’s our choices (both conscious and unconscious ones, direct & indirect, the choice to do nothing…) that get us where we are, for the most part. But our choices are often influenced by various factors. Let’s try to go easy on the negative judging(not an order/demand, just a friendly suggestion)! This isn’t to justify callous and reckless actions, just to promote more love & understanding. It’s also not to say that some people are victims of circumstance or have no ability to make choices. That’s disempowering. For most of us, no matter what happens beyond our control, we have the power to choose positive things, reactions, attitudes…

 For some, it’s much easier to make positive choices than for some others. Like cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, for example. It’s usually a choice to consume those in the first place no matter what happened to us. We have the power to say no to drugs or to say yes to them. And some take them and never become addicted while others fall prey to addiction. It doesn’t make one morally better for not becoming addicted. Some are just more susceptible. 
Anyway, some people are more likely to take illicit drugs than others, maybe someone who experiences trauma or depression or other painful experiences or someone exposed to drug use at an early age. 

It’s their choice at first but maybe influenced by experiences that contribute to them giving into temptation. 

I never considered taking illicit drugs or getting drunk or even drinking alcoholic things (with the exception of a few sips many moons ago). It’s not at all my cup of tea. But that doesn’t put me in a position to judge people negatively who make different choices than me, even lousy choices or those with grave consequences.

Homelessness is another example where it is so easy for some to judge. None of us are immune to becoming homeless. Any of us can be struck by some tragedy at any moment.

Many homeless people don’t have the advantages that many of us have. Some are severely mentally ill, some are struggling with addiction, some lost everything they own to a financial crisis, a housefire…, some don’t have families or friends who take them in. 
I have never been in a position to be homeless. I have always lived with my mom and unlike some people’s family, she wouldn’t ever throw me out no matter how much trouble I can ever be. Not everyone has that advantage.

Homeless people do have the power to make choices even though it is probably very difficult and even if for now the choice is to take one simple positive step for the better and some have made choices to contribute to where they are now, either consciously or unconsciously. It’s not being cold to say that. It’s disempowering to say otherwise. We all, as long as we’re alive, have the power to choose. 

Another example is people not having or displaying good grammar skills. I see so many people making fun of them and stuff. Must be great to be so perfect!

Not everyone has access to a good education, some have learning disabilities, some just really don’t care… So what?

We all have the power to make choices if we’re alive.

But not everyone yet realizes that and not everyone has advantages that make certain choices easy. 

So before we judge others in cold ways, how about instead we love & encourage them?  In non condescending ways. 

This quote is a great reminder to connect with our empathy and try to put our own self in someone else’s place as much as we can, and show love, compassion, encouragement instead of cold judgment. This goes for any person in any situation or making choices we disagree with.

Also here is a beautiful Country song! One of my favorites.

“I got rice cookin’ in the microwave
Got a three day beard I don’t plan to shave
And it’s a goofy thing but I just gotta say, hey
I’m doin’ alright
Yeah I think I’ll make me some homemade soup
I’m feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced, no
I’m just doin’ alright
And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin’
When I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can’t everyday be just this good”

(everyday can be! It’s all about that attitude!) 😀 ❤

It’s a great day to be alive – Travis Tritt – desktop

It’s a great day to be alive – mobile

It IS a great day to be alive! Every day is! I feel this way often and it’s great to have reminders like this song! 

I’m at work right now and the wifi is working for once! Lol 

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light to you now & forever!
Always remember, I love you! ❤ ❤

😀

xoxo Kim

Advertisements

It doesn’t take a talent to be mean <3

image

There’s a song I used to listen to over & over when I was a little girl. I can’t remember exactly how old I was but I was very young, not even a teenager yet.

My dad introduced me to the song and I was instantly hooked. I never paid much attention to the words or to the message the singer conveys through her song.
I just loved her sweet, soft, & gentle voice and the music. The song is,
“I’m Sensitive” by Jewel.   I remember asking my dad what “sensitive” means and he said it means the girl is easily hurt, saddened, or impacted by other people ‘s actions and words.

And I remember asking him if this girl is really sensitive or if she just likes to sing that she is. I remember him saying “No, she’s really a sensitive girl.”

 I remember thinking, “I want to meet this girl.”

I think one of the most poignant lines in her song is:

 “It doesn’t take a talent to be mean.”.

This couldn’t be more true.   Destructive criticism, cruelty, intentional insults, slander, toxic gossip about others, verbal thrashings,  is no special skill or trait and nothing to be proud of yourself for engaging in.

“I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things you say
It doesn’t take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Your words, even untrue ones which were only said out of anger or jealousy or to make yourself feel better about your own life or self, can have long lasting, devastating effects on the people you inflict them upon.

“You always tell me that it’s impossible
To be respected and be a girl
Why’s it gotta be so complicated?
Why you gotta tell me if I’m hated?
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Things don’t always have to be so complicated. Love. It’s simple. Your words impact people. For better or for worse. 
So why not speak lovingly of yourself and others about yourself and other people?
Let your words heal, not hurt. Bring people up, not down.

Do you have the right to be cruel? To sling ugly words at and about people? Absolutely!  At least in U.S. Culture, you are legally protected by our Constitution and so in many cases you do have the legal right to say unkind things .   And I don’t argue against that. You have that legal right. And I support your right. And my right.
But just because we can do something doesn’t mean we always should or that we have to. The fact that we can say just about whatever we want and not get in legal trouble is a gift that we tend to take too much advantage of by taking it to the extreme and spewing toxic things out about people.  Just because I argue against your words or your intentions doesn’t in any way mean I’m arguing against your right so say what you will. (the argument that people who speak cruelly of others often tend to turn to is something like “I have the right to say what I want…” but I am merely objecting to your cruelty itself, not you legal right to be cruel; you can, if you insist, continue to be very cruel)
You have the potential and often the legal right to knock people down with your words. But you always have the potential and the legal right to bring people up with your words, your warmth, your smile.
And you can choose whichever you want.

What will you choose today?

“I was thinking that it might do some good
If we robbed the cynics and took all their food
That way what they believe will have taken place
And we’ll give it to anybody who has some faith
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

This line is brilliant. What you believe or look for is often what you will find. When you’re in a negative state of mind looking for the bad, you will see it everywhere.   When you’re in a positive state of mind looking for the good, you will see it glittering all around and within you.

“I have this theory that if we’re told we’re bad
Then that’s the only idea we’ll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see”

Just like the previous lyrics, we will find what we are searching for. And if we’re surrounded by negatively critical words and allow them to affect us too much, we can start to believe them or just be lowered by them and our views are clouded. But if we are surrounded by beauty, we will become beauty. And our views will be positive and we will see with clarity. There’s is always, always, always something beautiful. To be seen. Or heard. Or felt. Or known. Always. Look for it. It’s there. Let that be what you are and become, not the ugliness.  

“‘Cause anyone can start a conflict
It’s harder yet to disregard it”

Yes, anyone can cause problems for others, and drag people down and do things to watch people suffer. 
Do you really want to do that? It says more about you than those you slander and gossip about. Even if your accusations and claims are true. Necessary constructive criticism is one thing, cruelty is another.
A person criticizing others just for the thrill of it may feel big & bad but that person is really very small.

“I’d rather see the world from another angle
We are everyday angels
Be careful with me ’cause I’d like to stay that way”

Beautiful ending to a beautiful song. We can train our brains to see the world however we wish to see it. I love how she is a sensitive girl which means she can be easily hurt but she wants to stay herself. Don’t change your beautiful self just for the ugliness of others.  It’s good to be affected by people and things.   It’s good to feel. To live. To have heartbreak and healing. To be broken then whole. To let people in. To give people and things the chance. A chance to know us, love us, hurt us, and heal us.  It’s better than putting up walls and locking people out, we can be hurt, crushed, devastated but it let’s us have deeper, more purposeful relations with people, ourselves and the world than when we live in fear of being crushed. If we lock people out and numb ourselves to our surroundings, it’s true that we may protect ourselves against the pain of rejection, abandonment, and someone we love or anyone seriously causing us pain but we also deny ourselves the depth of true relationships, the sense of closeness, the positivity of people uplifting us, and deep satisfaction of letting the world in. If you make it so you cannot potentially feel deep pain, you also make it so you cannot feel true, profound joy. Is it really worth it?
As the saying often goes, “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved.”. How cliche, right? But for good reason!

I can’t remember when or why I stopped listening to this song. Maybe my cd broke or I lost it. Have you ever just been reminded of a song that was once a significant part of you so long ago? One you listened to over & over and loved deeply?   And now you can’t remember or understand why or when you stopped listening to it? It seems to have eventually just slipped out of your grasp and got away .   That’s like this song and me. I never got tired of this song but haven’t heard it or even thought of it in decades. Then I received an e-mail by Johnathan Lockwood Huie. 

http://www.jonathanlockwoodhuie.com/

One of the ones he sends every morning with his beautiful inspiration. 
He sent a list of quotes and one is Jewel ‘s quote in one of her other lovely songs:

“I’m having a bad day. I am not size six.
My legs are not skinny as sticks,
and, someone’s got to pay.”
– Jewel

Lol 
When I read this quote I automatically remembered Jewel’s other song, “I’m Sensitive” and I thought “Whatever happened to that song?! Where did it go?! Where did I leave that song?!, packed away somewhere deep in the abandoned crevices of my brain I no longer tend to.” I vaguely remembered the tune, the lyrics, her gorgeous, soft, caressing, comforting voice and I wondered if I would still love it as much. Hoping I would. I found it, downloaded it at one something in the morning after I opened Mr. Lockwood Huie’s e-mail, yesterday morning. I always receive those e-mails at that hour every single morning and it couldn’t be more perfect. 
I was half sleeping so decided to wait til later that morning to listen to the song so I can really take it in and get the best of it.   Fully, deeply, truly.  When I finally listened again to that song that I haven’t heard since I was about eight years old, maybe younger, I did not only love it as much as I did then. I love it more. 

It’s beautiful. And now has much more meaning in my heart than it did all those years ago. I’m old enough now to truly understand it. I have my own experiences now to relate with much depth. It’s not just about aesthetics any longer.

And I hope you always remember, dragging other people down doesn’t bring you up. You may *feel* temporarily uplifted but it doesn’t make you any better. Destructively pointing out other people ‘s ugliness doesn’t make you pretty. Unnecessarily magnifying their flaws will never perfect you. It says nothing about them and all kinds of things about you. 
Whenever we feel the need to hurt others emotionally merely because we just feel like it we should stop instead and examine our own lives. Instead of trying to destroy others, we should work on ourselves.
I, myself, am not completely innocent of speaking unnecessary, unkind words about others but I know I am above that and I can choose kindness or at least not choose cruelty.

~Kindness is a gift we can all afford to give.~

Will you be the one bringing light to that person in the darkness?

Xox0 Kim

P.s. I would include a link to the YouTube video of the song but I’m using my phone and can only seem to be able to get the mobile version of YouTube. I don’t know if that can work for anyone not using my phone.
😀