A businessman was highly critical of his competitors’ storefront windows. “Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town,” he claimed. Fellow business people grew tired of the man’s continual criticism and nitpicking comments about the windows. One day over coffee, the businessman carried the subject just too far. Before leaving, a fellow store owner suggested the man get his own windows washed. He followed the advice, and the next day at coffee, he exclaimed, “I can’t believe it. As soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have cleaned his too. You should see them shine.” No wonder all the windows the critical shop-owner saw was dirty. It was simply because he was looking at them through his own dirty show windows.
Now. Doesn’t this remind you of many people in the work place?
Critical, negative, nitpicking and you don’t like to be near them. Who would anyway?
I know a businessman who complains all the time. Give him a glass with water in it and he’ll see it as half-empty, never half-full. Bring him to a movie and he’ll look at the flaws behind the production of the film. Bring him to church and he’ll doze off. Later on waking up and complaining that the minister doesn’t know how to teach. He sees the whole world as ugly and boring but what he fails to realize is that he’s ugly and boring himself.
Critical people always point their fingers and put the blame on others. They have forgotten the philosophy behind the pointing finger. That every time you have one finger pointing at somebody you have three other fingers pointing back at you. If you don’t believe me then try it for yourself.
Confucius once declared, “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”
Life is short and it’s a wonderful gift from God. Don’t spend and waste those precious moments being critical and judgmental. Try to look at the beautiful side of every person, place and situation and then you’ll find life exciting.
I came across a wonderful poem entitled: “Criticism” and I would like to share it with you. Credit is given to the world’s most famous author and his name is “anonymous.” By the way, do you know how sad I feel every time I come across a wonderfully written material and the author could not be identified.
But anyway, here’s the poem. Listen to it. Enjoy it and learn from it.
If an impulse comes to say
Some un-thoughtful word today
That may drive a friend away,
Don’t say it!
If you’ve heard a word of blame
Cast upon your neighbor’s name
That may injure his fair fame,
Don’t tell it!
If malicious gossip’s tongue
Some vile slander may have flung
On the head of old or young,
Don’t repeat it!
Thoughtful, kind, helpful speech,
‘Tis a gift promised to each–
This the lesson we would teach:
Don’t abuse it!
Blaise Pascal says: Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful. Kind words . . . soothe, and quiet, and comfort the hearer.
And the Word of God in Ephesians 4: 29 says: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.