You ought to be more like me


A note on difference and criticism

Most people do not want to hear criticism because they are solid, like statues. They are not open to change and are primarily interested in defending themselves - i.e. in defending the shape that they have become. They are not interested in becoming a different shape and so defend against attacks that may crack, shatter, or otherwise deform them.

At the opposite end of the scale are people who are more fluid. They have not settled on a shape. These people are more open to things that may deform them, including criticism. They are less likely to defend against an attack, inasmuch as they perceive themselves as having less to lose by being deformed. They are shape-shifters. Now this shape, now that. Like a liquid, they can fill many forms.

Neither of these is inherently better or more desirable than the other. One might be more adaptive - more favourable - in a certain context, just as the other is more favourable in a different context. Each has its place.

Because they are more able to adapt and change, fleixble people are more able to see, speak and act upon the Truth. They are its natural guardians. This is because the Truth may often be at odds with the way we live, with who we have become. It may point out inconvenient and disturbing things about us. To act upon the Truth (and to a lesser extent to see and speak it) requires those who are able to adapt themselves to it, regardless of where its trail leads.

It is therefore the role of the flexible people to steer the rest in light of wisdom, of the Truth.

It is the role of solid people to bring weight, balance and consistency to the whole. They add reality. Liquids cannot hold a form; but solid things can.

They must, therefore, be as they are and must not seek to change. They must accept their various shapes. When viewed from the context of the whole species, these people - hard and soft, curved and straight, large and narrow - all balance each other; just as the ballast on a ship must be correctly positioned to provide both weight and balance. These are people of substance and integrity. Without ballast a sailing boat may be capsized by the wind in its sails. Ballast - weight - keeps it steady.

It is, therefore, both unfair and short-sighted for those who steer - those more flexible types - to criticise a solid person for being what they are, for their solidity (be it  too large, too narrow, too hard, or too soft).

And visa-versa. Fluid types must not be criticised for their lack of solidity. As with the sailing boat, society needs both, for different reasons.

Criticism is only truly useful in helping another see themselves more clearly. At best, it provides clarity. It leads, in other words, toward Truth. And Truth being the province of flexible types, criticism is rightly theirs and theirs only. It is their tool, a double-edged sword, wielded in the name of Truth. In medieval times honour dictated that a knight in armour  must only battle with another also in armour, and a similar rule applies here. The sword of Truth must only be used against another of like-kind; never against a solid person. Criticism is, after all, irrelevant to someone who cannot - and should not - change.

Criticism is, then, not for everyone; and we must not all be encouraged to indulge in it. Because it is, for most people, irrelevant  and inappropriate. A precision tool that has been (mal)adapted for general purpose, it only ends up dividing us and making us ashamed of what we are.

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Related posts:-
Small Part/Large System
Small Mind/Large Mind 
Everything is Connected
Maintaining the Balance
The Colour Wheel 
The Colour Spiral
Assuming a position
Get Real 

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