It’s a low level energy vibration, a verbal cancer that once it grabs hold spreads into every fiber of society and it is rampantly damaging the heart and soul of humanity. I’m talking about criticism.
: the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing : the act of criticizing someone or something
Everyone has an opinion. We communicate our thoughts and ideas in order to mark our place in the world. Some of us leave lengthy tomes of inspiration and we are left enlightened as a society. It use to be that we were taught the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” and yet somehow that fundamental code has been desecrated into a hate filled, ego centered regime.
Social media, the internet, minute by minute 24/7 news have fueled the criticism epidemic. People who would never utter harsh words against another now have the technology to strike like vipers. Our society is suffering in a virtual sludge of self righteous opinion.
As I see it there are two types of criticism raging out in the world right now. The first stems from a lack of self esteem. People who do not feel good about themselves avoid their own personal pain by lashing out at others in order to justify their own self worth. They tend to be followers who ordinarily would not choose to be mean but because they don’t have a strong moral compass are easily lead. This is were gang mentality comes from and why a seemingly peaceful group of people can be incited to violence.
The phenomenon of cyber bullying is a good example of this. The ability to criticise someone is instant now and it is not just one person against another it is every person on your friend list and every person in your friend’s friend list and so on against one. The false sense of bravado because you are not face to face to the victim creates a climate were nice normal people say nasty things and in the case of social media, you may not even know them. Youth, lacking moral maturity, fall victim to this type of criticism the most.
The other type of criticism comes from a need for control. My views and beliefs are right and yours are wrong and I am going to tell you why and if you don’t come round to my way of thinking I will attack your way of thinking.
People for millennia have been persecuted using this kind of criticism. The extreme form of this kind of judgement is hate. Think about terrorism, groups of people united in a belief system so extreme that their need for control of others manifests in violent attacks against society. The critical message being our views are so right and yours are so wrong that we feel you don’t even have a right to live.
How come criticism has become epidemic in society? Everyone has an opinion and now we can expound our point of view on a system that anyone and everyone can access, the world wide web. That is not the only reason though, media has a big part to play in this too. A news network has 24 hours a day, 365 days a year of airtime to fill. When a news story hits the airways, every angle is examined, “and now we have the grade school teacher of the killer who hasn’t even seen them for 10 years offer a perspective of the tragic event. Mrs. Carruthers, isn’t it true the gunman displayed dangerous lifestyles choices even in grade school?”.
The title of “expert” is used regularly now, people have made whole career’s out of analyzing certain aspects of human behavior and offering their considered opinion. Journalist’s use these authorities to spin a story. Investigative reporting is a loose title for exposing the dirt on a story. If it bleeds, it leads is not good enough anymore. We need shock value folks!
We have become too exposed. Our private lives are no longer private. Information uploaded that seemed harmless at the time can be manipulated by any unsavory character (see reasons above) into something sinister that leaves you ripe for criticism.
Think of most of the popular celebrities today and try to think of one that hasn’t had an unfortunate private experience exposed, speculated on, criticized and blown way out of proportion. This has become the new norm of celebrity reporting. Who in their right mind would want to be famous?
The main point here is that in order to evolve as a society, in order to stop violence against others, in order to feel safe once again on the streets of our neighborhoods, the first thing we need to do is stop talking trash about each other. We need to realize that everyone, no matter their shape, color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or social status has a right to walk this earth with out criticism from the peanut gallery.
The second thing we need to do is stop spreading it. If you would not criticize someone to their face, what gives you the right to criticize them behind their back.
…and finally, as your dear old mom use to tell you, ” If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all.”