Friday, September 26, 2008

Philosophical Musings - Part X

The Roots of Wisdom

It is necessary for one to speak out, if a friend has erred. Yet, it is difficult to give constructive criticisms gently and avoid offending the other party. How then should one act? Perhaps a verse from Hong Yingming’s, The Roots of Wisdom may illuminate the right way to criticize:

On Criticizing

When attacking someone’s faults
Do not be too severe

You need to consider
How well he will weather what he hears


When teaching someone
By showing him what is noble

Soar not to sublime heights
Descend to whence he can perceive

9 comments:

Damien Tan

"When teaching someone
By showing him what is noble
Soar not to sublime heights
Descend to whence he can perceive "

Zen masters break this rule every day. How many people understand their mystic koans and haikus. I prefer the more down-to-earth approach of Gotama.

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Dear Damien,

Indeed, simple words and analogies are the best way to teach.

Rgds

Marketing Deviant

Criticize in an innocent way!

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Dear Marketing Deviant,

Define "innocent".

Rgds

Keong

Any comment on someone known as Bodowi?

Marketing Deviant

Innocent where a person's tone and words wouldn't offend someone's ears yet make them realize their mistakes.

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Dear Marketing Deviant,

I see. In other words, comments made with sincerity and compassion.

I agree.

Rgds

tashabud

Very good advice, but some people are still very sensitive to criticism. So it's still hard not to hurt some people's feelings.

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Dear Tashabud,

Thanks for commenting :)

If you have friends who are that sensitive, just remain their friends and refrain from criticizing them on minor things.

If it is on major and important things, then just gently let them know how you feel about it. If they don't listen, at least you've done your part.

Rgds

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