Posts Tagged ‘good judgement’

How difficult it is sometimes  to be consistent with our criticisms.  Everybody is aware that  in Spain criticism is  a national sport and because it is usually destructive,  it has become a blight to our culture.  In principle there’s nothing wrong with issuing a judgement, if somebody criticizes something it is because he believes he has better reasons than whatever or whoever he is criticising, he feels he has some information, experience or data that enable him to judge.  So far, so good.

But judgements stop being positive if the person who criticizes does not take note of his own criticism, if he is not consistent with what he is saying by applying it to himself.  Consistency is a truly difficult art, it takes us a lifetime to overcome our own contradictions, we all have to face them every day and not admitting this fact is mere self-deception.

Some people choose not to criticize, but then they’re missing a chance to learn about themselves, to discover their own projection in their judgement.  Judging something and finding out which part of our own life is in a similar situation and has the same behaviour pattern,  is one of the soundest practices for personal development.

Let’s take a few examples to show the “take note of what you’re saying” attitude.  For instance, those who say that others are doing nothing to solve some problem and do nothing in their turn to solve their own; or those who criticize abuse when they are abusing themselves or others; people who curse power but abuse it when they have a chance to do so; those who sit comfortably back and attack what others are doing, unable to overcome their own laziness or apathy.  People use justification to defend their own behaviour, so you can justify your own  faults but not other people’s?  Again, lack of consistency.

Those who criticize but don’t apply to themselves what they’re saying, do they have the right to criticize? In my opinion only consistency gives us the right to criticize, and even then it should be used constructively. This is not always possible, especially when the person who abuses has no intention to amend his ways, but there are usually constructive alternatives which we don’t see because of our projections.  Finding out about them and working on the constructive version of what we’re criticising is a truly valuable art.

The borderline between “right” and “wrong” has many aspects to be considered.  If there isn’t a sound basis for judgements everything is justifiable, even the absence of judgement,  and not applying good judgement is a major disaster for a rational mind. We always do things on the grounds of reasons we justify, if we stop judging our own reasons to act we become irrational beings with an unlimited destructive potential. Examining our conscience is a sound mental and emotional practice,  essential to any human being who seeks to be the best possible version of himself and not just a pale reflection of what he could be.

According to this point of view, of course we should judge! Always followed by a reflection on our own behavioural patterns, considering in which part of our lives we are doing the same thing that we are criticizing, taking note of what we say and  taking action in order to change what surrounds us. Or, in other words, change our inner world so we can learn to change the outer world towards a true, consistent excellence. If we don’t do something to change things, if don’t use constructive criticism, what we’re exercising is the cowardice of not being able to judge ourselves in our faults and amend ourselves.

Criticism is destructive if it is not accompanied by the will to act in consequence. But it is indispensable and constructive if it is done with the intention to improve oneself and improve things, our surroundings, society, the planet. The sky is the limit for those who use good judgement creatively in their own benefit and in the benefit of others.

Beatriz Fernández del Castillo





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