Positive Criticism

Rawatji was the eighty years old clerk in the office of Ahmed. Ahmed was the head of a reputed business organization. One day a client was sitting in a meeting with Ahmed. They were tabulating the terms of the new agreement for the purchase of steel for the new plant. Rawatji listened quietly in a corner. Suddenly he said in a stern, authoritative voice, “Ahmed, you are miscalculating the overheads. This amount is ridiculous. Go over it again.” The client raised his eye brows and said, “Who is that old man? Tell him to mind his own business.” Ahmed paused for a moment and then said, “He is my father!”

Ahmed looked into the detail of the calculation and realized that his junior staff had indeed made a mistake.

The meeting being over, the client sat with Ahmed in an easy mood. He said, “Ahmed, I believe you lost father when you were young. Who was that old man and why did you allow him to speak to you like that? As the head of the organization, I wouldn’t allow anyone to use that tone with me. When I am the boss, everyone better know it!” Ahmed said, “My father had started this business house with Rawatji as his clerk. Father passed away when I was only eighteen. Rawatji managed everything passionately as if it were his own. He groomed me the way my father would have. At this age, he attends office everyday. Fifteen years ago, he even stopped taking his salary. He is my worst critic and yet my best friend. He is my mentor. Pobody’s Nerfect. I mean, Nobody’s Perfect; so how can I be? He sees through the mistakes I make. He has an uncanny sixth sense. Besides, his experience far outweighs ours. You know, in business, howsoever well qualified you may be, but it is good old commonsense, experience and values that are at the root of all good decisions. And for commonsense, experience and values, who else can I turn to but Rawatji? Even Baba says, “Age should think and Youth should do.”

The learned Fakir Kabir said, Nindak neare rakhiye, angan kuti chhawye! Bin pani, sabun bina, Nirmal kare subhaye!!

This means, keep a critic tucked away in the courtyard of your house, for he can clean up your character without the use of soap or water! If you really pause to hear what a critic has to say about you, you can see your picture as the other guy sees it. It is only when you are able to identify your faults and acknowledge them that you can do something to improve yourself.

Take criticism in a positive light, use it to introspect and improve yourself. Steer clear of flatterers. All they do is massage your ego!