How many of you have spent hours on preparing a project or completing an assignment and later on had to start from scratch because according to the teacher, your work was not good enough? Last week I spent five precious hours of my life in sincerely making my ED (engineering drawing) sheet: so many tedious grids and near-impossible precision in measurements were involved. When it was time for evaluation, I was quite confident with my sincere effort and waited for the teacher to appreciate my work and / or give me a good grade on my sheet. Instead, what I received was quite contrary to what I was expecting beforehand. “This line is not straight, that measurement is off. I am not going to mark this sheet. You should redo this sheet.” How easy it was for the teacher to find faults with my work!

Expert architects design a building and even a passerby who is a layman in architecture is prompt to give out his criticism of the design and layout. When people come out of the cinema, and supposedly, they do not find the movie up to the mark, they don’t hesitate even once in their rebukes: “Akshay Kumar’s acting was pathetic”, “The plot of the movie was so shabby!” Poor Akshay Kumar spent months in the making of this movie and all his efforts gone down the drain just because a certain Tom, Dick and Harry think so.

Making something is as difficult as it is to destroy it. Let us take the case of a rocket being built for outer space. It takes the toil of so many skilled rocket scientists, hundreds of trained personnel, and billions of rupees for it to be put together. All of these cumbersome efforts are not a big deal for the devil of destruction: a slight blow and baam! The rocket shatters into a million pieces. All of the scientists and people involved take the hit. All the recognition they would have received for a successful attempt turns into contempt and nasty comments from the same public.

Everybody has their own opinions and it is important for everyone to be able to assert their views. But this does not in any way imply, that anything can be said about anybody. Constructive criticism helps but constant criticism and done in a negative way can be shattering for the person bearing it. Sometimes, we fail to realize the massive amount of effort and sweat involved in something, and pass on a comment which is not intended to hurt anyone but it does, and does, very badly indeed. Criticism should be mild and rational. Anything harsh has the potential to break hearts, breakdown spirits and wreck moods. So, think about what you say to other people and how you say it.

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