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“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do”. – Dale Carnegie

Criticism, Condemnation and Correction happen to seem identical because they are most often misused, misconstrued and misread so much so that they end up carrying huge emotional aggravation when they are meant to be treated lightly and also get taken for granted when meant to be paid more attention to. However, the problem lies more with the first two– Criticism and Condemnation because Correction will most often stem out of the two. Knowing when and how to distinguish between the 3 identical C’s will help you see things from a different perspective and gear you towards the positive direction, using all 3 C’s as tools of motivation!

• Criticism
As closely related as criticism is to condemnation, they differ and this difference is seen in the negative essence and product the latter brings over the former. What is criticism anyway? According to Wikipedia– “criticism is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something or somebody in an intelligible or articulate way, of which the judger is called “the critic”. Hence, criticism voices out a composed supposition or judgment of what is awful or wrong about somebody or something all of which is geared towards the end goal of change. This kind of criticism is known as constructive criticism. The truth about criticisms is that the critic in question will not always anticipate such change as not everyone who criticises does so for the good of the other, and that is where criticisms become similar to condemnation. This kind of criticism is known as destructive criticism.

In the end, however criticisms come, whether constructive or destructive, they surely do come with so much positive effect, if only we accept and embrace them with the right attitude no matter how it hurts! The essence of criticism is to build and challenge us to become better by revealing the truth of our own self-discovery through the eyes of others –opening us up to new viewpoints of what to improve on which we may never have even considered. Since it’s almost impossible to be in charge of what others will say to us, how they’ll perceive us and our ideas, we can at least take charge of how we can learn from it and use it to better ourselves.
“A good criticism should be: timely, not too early nor too late, brief and succinct, with a clear start and a finish, not endless…”– Wikipedia

• Condemnation
“For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things”– Romans 2:1
It’s in the nature of man to babble and pass judgements against each other out of sheer hatred, envy, and all forms of irrational behaviours because we either think we are better or can do better than them. The difference between criticism and condemnation is that condemnation is totally negative as it’s done only to hurt the other party or out of self-righteous reasons. When we judge others, we define ourselves as faultfinders, charlatans, gossips and scorners, of which the bible gives –Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear- James 5:9

The problem with the world is that everyone thinks they are the best; hence the need to look down on others becomes paramount to accommodating their already inflated ego of their self-worth and righteousness. However, the truth about condemnation is that those who readily and deliberately work towards condemning and putting others down are dealing with their own self-condemnation, hence, in most cases, they are the ones with the problem not you. When we work towards our own self-growth and feel we have attained that height that is generally acceptable to the world, we feel it’s time to pass harsh comments and judgements about the lives of others. We only fail to realise we are all uniquely different in our different ways. Before we try to condemn others, it’s vital to offer to help that person become the best they can be, better still, search for the good in that person, so much so that it surpasses the person’s defect and increases the love.

Yet again, just as criticisms, condemnations come with positive effects only if we gear them towards positivity! When we suffer condemnation from people sometimes, we need to pay attention to our inner-self because the outer world is a reflection of the inner. If you have been condemned by others and your inner-self condemns you too, then there’s a need for change.

• Correction
Correction can be seen from an entirely different perspective as the other two, though as stated earlier, it is most often wielded from criticism and condemnation. Stirring criticisms and condemnations towards a corrective measure propels you to learn from your mistakes and makes you conscious of how others perceive you and how you equally perceive yourself. There are sometimes we are being genuinely corrected but we see it as being criticised or condemned and this should not be so. It’s not every time criticisms and condemnations are expressed towards us that we must fight back because in the end we destroy ourselves by putting up defensive walls against criticisms and condemnations. Since we are all in a steady changing and growing life process, correction recognises that there’s always something to be judged, something to be ridiculed, something to be frowned upon by others, Something to be criticised, which will most often be negative and unconstructive, yet if we pay close attention, they all swirl within the capacity of aiding our own personal self-growth. The ability to challenge ourselves towards positively heeding to criticisms and condemnations without desiring self-justification creates a foundation for lasting change.
“Listen to advice and accept correction, then in the end you will be wise.”– Proverbs

“Our critics make us strong, our fears make us bold, our haters make us wise, our foes make us active….Whatever is designed against us will work for us!”
―Israelmore Ayivor

Written By:  ‘Nonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)

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