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Journal

Why is Criticism So Easy?

Mark Junkans

“I wouldn’t have done it that way.”

“What are they wearing?”

"What they are doing sucks."

As a pathetically self-absorbed human, I continually find myself criticizing other people based on what they’re wearing, doing, saying, singing, etc.  This comes in the form of thoughts, jokes, quips and judgment statements.  Why is this a natural weakness for me, and why does it matter how someone else has chosen to do something?  In a nutshell, because I’m human, and because criticizing someone else is easier that actually doing something myself.

We humans are continually asking ourselves the “who am I” question. As social beings, this most often becomes “Who am I in comparison to that person?”  It’s like an automatic process that happens in our brains, because the whole world revolves around “me.”

My question for all the criticizers out there, including myself, is “But what are you actually doing yourself?”  It is really easy to sit back and talk about someone else, and very difficult sometimes to actually do something of value.

Go ahead, put yourself out there and do something that you believe will make a difference in the world, not just something that makes you look good to others or that simply gives you pleasure.

You may find that when you become totally absorbed in serving others, you stop needing to compare yourself to the rest of humanity.  Sure, others may criticize what you are doing, but if you are truly doing something meaningful, then it doesn’t really matter does it?

The next time I begin to make fun of someone or criticize them in my head, I WILL stop myself.  Unless, of course, they aren’t doing it how I think they should. :)

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
— Jesus from Matthew 7:3-5