I used to be very critical. I was critical of everything, and very vocal about my criticisms, too, even when those being criticized were within earshot.
Then my mother moved close by to live out the rest of her life, and I saw how horribly obnoxious that was. I heard the same things come out of her mouth that had been coming out of mine, and it was awful.
Then one night I was critical of a good friend and he called me out on it. I spent a long time contemplating this, and have tried very hard to not be critical ever since.
Recently, I was taking a walk with a good friend who pointed out all the ugliness in everything we passed. It sounded just like the way I used to sound. As we walked, I tried to pinpoint exactly what bothered me about it so much, and eventually, asked the question: “If the owner of that boat were here, would you tell him what a bucket of junk it is?” Well, of course not. Yet the next yacht, sleek and well-maintained, escaped my friend’s comment, but we both knew that if that owner were standing next to it, we would both remark on the beauty of it.
So that got me to thinking: is cricism the same as gossip?
Gossip does no good to anyone. It is inherently destructive.
And I think this kind of criticism is exactly the same. It tends to color the lenses through which we view the world in a dark and negative way.
Not for me. Not any more.