Ever met the people who preach too much but never ever practice what they preach? Their didactic approach fails to uplift, their logical fallacies abound, their ability to create, listen or learn so abysmal that “absurd” becomes an understatement?
It all sounds full of angst up there and I am writing in a state of slight frustration but this should not cloud my ability to practice constructive dissent. I admire those who can transverse freely between various writing/design/fashion styles and still appear impeccable. I however, have much difficulties doing so. It isn’t about resistance to learning – it’s about recognising your own weaknesses. We can all try to do something new, but it doesn’t necessarily turn out well. At crunch-time, would you submit an entry that is weak and unconvincing or put-forth a cogent effort? Maybe we need to take a bet in order to win a game, but not when you’ve squandered all the coins you held, wasted all the time and is now left with just a penny.
It might be possible to label this as “defensive” but I don’t think that’s the case when I constantly upgrade myself with useful information. I learn about life, diseases, philosophy and writing as I blog-hop; I read books to improve my understanding of History studies, even if it seems like everything is set in stone and nothing new could appear from the past; I trawl the Internet for articles and write-ups that spans disciplines. I ask for advice from industry experts to find out more about what they do and how to improve my work; I speak with friends (even those whom I know have starkly different opinions from myself) to get a second point of view for consideration.
When I disagree, I give reasons. And I ask for them alike. I debate. I play devil’s advocate. My pessimistic nature gives me an opportunity to look at things from even the darkest perspectives. I consider the two faces of a coin before presenting it in its best light. But deliberation must not equate to negation of a different opinion.
Unfortunately, many who preach “openness” might have done just the above – by insisiting a “preferred” stance, rejected the opinion that is just not “theirs”. Those who lectured about “gaining new knowledge” have not been keeping up-to-date about the latest trends and occurrences. They believe in conformity. They assume superior ethics – or a twisted version of it – in what they do. But get this right – “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.”
If you cannot prove yourself to be aligned with what you preach, then maybe you just shouldn’t preach – you end up epitomising the unbelievable and incredulous being that you tell others not to be.
Respect is given, not earned. And for those who cannot accept criticisms, you’ll probably want to think twice too before criticising and expecting others to accept it. As John Wooden puts it – “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
It’s a long rant and it’s probably pointless to many of you. I hope I didn’t lose anyone here! Cheers to a better day ahead!