|| Thoughts^MIND ||
“It’s Easy To Criticize What You Can’t Have” – A moral that comes across from the Aesop’s Fables – ‘The Fox And The Grapes.’ Over the years this moral has gained notorious reputation, as criticism has become an integral part of everyone’s psyche.
‘CRITICISM’ – no matter where one goes, simply can’t escape it. It is sad, but true, that today criticism is the most used as a way of defense, if it can be called a defense. As soon as something is out of one’s comfort zone, out comes the criticism as a shield – Anything that one can’t achieve or approve off has to be sour.
An American social psychologist, Leon Festinger describes this type of behavior as a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions etc. and calls it ‘Cognitive Dissonance.’ The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to alter existing idea, add new beliefs to create an alternative belief system by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant element.
This theory warns of people having a bias towards seeking harmony among their discord. People engage in a process where they seek to reduce discord in one of the three ways: lowering the importance of the discord factor, adding elements or by completely changing one of the discordant factor. This bias sheds lights on a puzzling, irrational and sometimes highly destructive behavior.
So why are we behaving in such a irrational way. As a rational animal on the top of the animal kingdom, we should be introspecting more about this irrational behavior, but sadly the truth is that as humans we are not even ready to acknowledge the irrationality of our puzzling behavior. The only reason that comes to my mind, looking rationally of course, that it allows one to wallow in a false sense of satisfaction – satisfaction that if we can’t achieve something it’s not worthy of achieving.
We have all either been critical about many things or have been criticized, more than often unfairly either way. Some are better at offering criticism than receiving it. It is said to be critical is human and criticism is positive, but more than often it is negative, but that is not the point, the point here is that we are using criticism more and more as a tool of escapism.
It is, maybe, far more easier to criticize and escape the responsibility of introspecting then answering more difficult self-evaluating questions. It is a simple choice to make – Whether to take a more arduous route or opt for an easy short-cut? – It is a quite simple choice to make for most of us. Isn’t it often easy to pass judgement than it is to change our own beliefs or values? There is abundance of evidence that humans though, are supposedly rational beings, are not always rational when it comes to self-evaluation.
If one allows criticism to be a tool of escapism, it will be like allowing your inferiority complex to take the wheels on the life’s highway – a major mishap waiting to happen at the next difficult maneuver. As Benjamin Franklin had said “Any Fool Can Criticize, Condemn And Complain, And Most Fools Do,” and putting this in perspective, as rational fools nowadays tend to irrationally criticize everything and this includes me too, as here I am publishing a post, criticizing the criticizers…..