Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
June 11 2016
no one likes to be criticised. Some people go to the extreme of abhorring any
kind of criticism. But that is an unhealthy response, for criticism and dissent
are positive elements in the lives of individuals and for societies.
once to meet an American scholar to whom I put the question: “What is the most
important aspect of western culture?“ He replied: “Freedom of expression. “
Elaborating on this point, he stated that in the west, dissent was taken
right, wrong, good or bad as a sacred right of the individual.
is part of intellectual exchange. When you discuss an issue with someone
without any reservation, what you have to say is very likely to take the form
of criticism. In any critical process there are two parties: one who criticises
and one who is the object of criticism. The former may expound a divergent
viewpoint in a frank and open manner, and this encourages the latter to
discover a new aspect of the subject under discussion. So criticism is good for
both parties concerned.
universe of thought is vast. No single person can cover all arenas of thought
or knowledge. Given this situation, criticism affords the opportunity to
broaden and enhance your field of knowledge. It is a kind of give-and-take
example, a mirror is also a critic in a purely physical sense. If you have a
spot on your face, the mirror will instantly draw your attention to it. And you
accept this without the slightest reluctance. The same is true of the critic,
who is like an intellectual mirror. If he points out some fault in your thin
king, then you have to accept it. If you are not in a position to accept it
instantly, you have at least to give thought to the point he makes. A negative
reaction is not good because it is infructuous, both in the case of the
intellectual mirror and the physical mirror.
is a process rather than an end. It entails discussion, which leads to
intellectual development. Indeed, through the process of criticism we embark on
an intellectual journey, trying to find answers to our questions. Criticism,
opening the closed doors of a mind, enhances thinking capacity. As such,
criticism is always good.
promotes thinking along new and different lines. It is the result of thinking
in a fresh and original way and, as such, it is a healthy factor in society.
Because, as it has been said, when all think alike, no one thinks very much.
Critical thinking is constructive thinking. Creative thinkers are always able
to discover new things, but creative thinking cannot be developed without
critical thinking. Accept criticism with a tranquil mind and you will soon
discover that your critic was an intellectual enabler.
greatest weakness is that we live within the boundaries of our own mind. This
kind of thinking tends to induce self-conditioning. No one, except your critic,
can de-condition your mind. That is, he points out those negative aspects of
your intellectual make-up that had hitherto been hidden from you. Everyone
must, therefore, welcome the critic. The critic is the only one who can help
you rid your personality of undesirable traits. So, be eternally grateful to him.
There is a
saying: “One who criticises you is better than one who praises you. “ This
saying is very correct and meaningful. One who discovers the value of criticism
will surely appreciate criticism and happily accept it.