Friday, February 5, 2016

Wisdom comes with a price (#2562)

     I have tried to think of something else to write about this morning but this subject won't leave me alone. I am talking about how we go about taking constructive criticism. There is the obvious way in which we listen to the constructive criticism, validate, and then acknowledge that there is something for us to improve upon. That is my general approach. Much like being an optimist, I learn something new that is helpful to me and I try to change whatever thought or behavior I need to in order to build a bridge to satisfying the constructive criticism. I take the constructive criticism as a gift in order to make myself less imperfect.
     Or there is the way in which we hear the constructive criticism but instead of being thankful for the insight, we lash out with excuses or accusations at the messenger for having ulterior motives. Instead of taking the constructive criticism with a little bit of humility, we get angry for having to hear something less positive about ourselves. I understand this type of response since in my distant past I thought everyone was the enemy and any negative behavior aimed at me was more likely an attack on myself for some nefarious reason. Something as simple as someone telling me my breath was stinky and that I should try mouthwash would send me into a vitriolic diatribe.
     The absurdity of being a victim when a constructive criticism is offered is immature. Obviously sometimes a constructive criticism is given with malevolent intent, but aside from the intent is the constructive criticism valid? That is how I deal with all constructive criticisms, which is to look beyond any intention, and to analyze the constructive criticism as to its validity. This is how I grow more wise as time moves on. I acknowledge that I have and will continue to have much to learn right up until my last heartbeat. Given that, I have to be humble in my intentions to improve and that includes admitting those times when I need to change my thoughts and behaviors with a thankfulness based upon valid constructive criticisms.

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