This statement just caused a little battle of understanding on my facebook wall…never knew a statement could be examined the way this one was examined. I had to leave the battle in order to clarify it.
The first salvo was i disagree…! To Criticize something is more or less ; To find fault Or express disapproval Or to Analyse and assess someone or something. If a person does not Understand something, there may be at least 2 reasons: 1. he/she has not analysed it well and as such doesn’t get it… and 2. that “something” itself does not make sense and therefore cannot be Understood properly… but either way, you need to analyse the “something” in question to understand it: and that means you are criticizing it. We criticize certain basic things so quickly that one doesn’t even Know that we criticized/analyzed Before Accepting or understanding it… e.g. i meet you and say- “i am going to work”, even though you may not notice it, Your brain puts it under criticism before you say “oh ok” — you look at the way I’m dressed and probably see a few documents that i am holding or my bag, check the time to see it aligns with what i said, Then you accept. if anything is not in place, you will ask what i meant again or probably even say “i don’t understand”..because you don’t understand how i could be going to work in that attire or at that time, etc… you have criticized… *in fact, You Need to Criticize something before you understand it: and even more so if you Don’t understand it…!
My return salvo was Yes I understood.. criticize used here means to judge something with disapproval or pass unfavorable comment. It is not about analysis, definitions of the word criticism point out its unfair nature or the search of faults. When used in works of art, it is for analysis. Why should one pass unfair comments about something that one has no grasp of? Being a critic and a friend are two different things. If you don’t understand my actions, if you can’t find reasons for what I do, don’t judge me. To understand something implies knowledge, it having meaning or to interpret in a certain manner. What if the attributed meaning is wrong? You don’t criticize friends or people. If you want to understand someone you don’t put the person under a microscope, you put yourself in the person’s shoe. You try (and mostly fail) to think like the person, feel the same emotions, look at the background and upbringing of the person. I am implying here that you thought the use of criticize here borders on analysis but it was used with the meaning of unfair judgement, your understanding was flawed hence your disagreement of the initial statement. I hope you understand
Before I try to clarify the above statement, I need to identify the key word and what is to be understood..the key word is CANT and what is to be understood is Humans and their actions. I think the working definitions of the words are needed also
Let me start with UNDERSTAND 1. to see the meaning of 2. to have a thorough knowledge of 3. to regard as settled 4. to infer 5. to perceive what is meant 6. to accept sympathetically. Understanding implies the implicit knowledge and the right attribute (meaning).
CANNOT 1. an auxiliary verb expressing incapacity, inability, withholding permission. Can means 1. used as an auxiliary to indicate ability, skill, or fitness to perform a task 2. . used as an auxiliary to indicate the possibility, opportunity, or likelihood. If you cannot do something, it means you are not equipped or don’t have the permission to undertake that activity. You do not have the requisite skills or knowledge to perform the task
CRITICIZE1. to find fault; judge unfavorably or harshly. 2. to make judgements as to merits and faults. Some synonyms are : blame, censure, condemn, denounce. “To criticize does not necessarily imply to find fault, but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of an objection against prejudice, or a disapproval.” You can check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism
Those are my tools and yours also. Why do i support the statement that we shouldn’t criticize what we can’t understand?
Let me ask questions.
Are you a friend or a judge? What is the role you want to play in my life? Are you in it to condemn, to look for faults (SEARCH) ? There is a difference between correction with love and to denounce an action. Is it right as a friend to someone, to criticize the person for an action that you can’t understand (yep the statement). Imagine that I have fallen in love with a girl who abuses me (crosses heart, no one should ever abuse a partner not only physically but emotionally and financially as well) , I am the only one who knows what I see in her. Do you think you have the moral right to criticize (condemn) me. You don’t understand why I am stuck in that relationship, you don’t know what I get from it, do you think your criticism will help me? What if you tried talking to me as a friend and not as a Judge, someone with high morals.
One of favorite scenarios is the drunkard in the gutter reeking of the cheapest and deadliest alcohol you can find. Your first reaction might be that he is a habitual drunkard, you might never question what drove him to seek refuge in the bottle and not Christ or the Church. You might judge him as a useless person (apply it to the drunk in your neighbourhood). We don’t understand their reasons but we condemn them. I am not saying we should try and justify the actions of rapist, child molesters and the like.
Is it fair to pass judgement on something that you are not adequately equipped or lack the basic skills to understand? Speaking when you have no facts or idea about what you are talking about is just 😦 , your ignorance will leave you hanging when you are hit with the truth or knowledge that you lacked. As friends and colleagues, we should know the difference, you can correct me in a manner that I will appreciate and you can correct me in another manner that will infuriate me, why the difference in reactions? As far as you can’t understand why I did something, as a friend your role is never to judge, you can ask me or share your opinion but not judge. I don’t know whether I clarified it because I think the statement speaks for itself. Art critics are professional, they have the necessary information to pass judgement. Are you a professional on humans and their behaviours? Have you studied your friends? Can you tell me why I bothered to write this at all? Please let me know what you think
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