05292013 Live-And-Let-Live Is Usually Not Quite True When People Claim It (Update)

Since I read a lot of blogs, status updates and news feeds, I’ve discovered a trend that I haven’t cleverly given a name to. I’ll work on thinking up something undeniable cool to term this trend.

Since I’m committed to avoiding perfectionism (and it shows!), I’ll explain it as best I can, off the cuff.

Many people purport to live a “live and let live” philosophy wherein they don’t criticize other people, judge them, or talk about what they don’t like. They talk about being optimistic, not judging, and giving people the benefit of the doubt. For many of these folks a cursory examination proves their contention of non-criticism to be untrue. Much of their opinion tends to back-handedly criticize what others believe, what they do, and how they live their lives. They use other sources to be the ones criticizing, saying that they themselves aren’t being critical, just that they fervently agree with those doing the criticizing. The people who seem to fly below your radar and get by without being called out are usually people with a better sense of humor or a lot of personality. Their criticism is ofter over-looked or mistaken for something else.

Really good writers can also clearly spell out their disgust at something or someone without being obvious. And while their criticisms aren’t specifically apparent to everyone, if you are paying attention a trend shines through. It becomes quite clear what irritates them and how their opinions fall.

But – if you use someone else as a source and it is highly critical of another person or group, the sting of negativity extends to your hearty agreement, too. There is a strong mathematical theorem that describes this behavior but googling it would exhaust me to no end.

There’s nothing wrong with this tendency – it is how the world often works. But you shouldn’t be disingenuous about not criticizing other people. You shouldn’t try to insist that it isn’t your ‘thing’ to judge or question how other people or groups do things.

To clear the decks, I full well acknowledge that I am a hypocrite and am well aware of my guilt at judging others. There’s no question whatsoever in my mind.