Love is the beauty of the soul
– Saint Augustine
We know that when we love a person, we usually find the person beautiful and full of good qualities. We are unlikely to see any defect in our beloved. It is not that we deliberately try to ignore the negative aspects, but at any point in time, our mind, heart and intellect become blind to the negativity of our beloved. So the saying, love is blind.
We can point out the negative qualities in that person very clearly when we fall out of love. We may then start hating that person for we can no longer see anything good in him. We might wonder why we had ever loved that person and how we missed out on their negative traits earlier.
Every human being has a positive and negative side. Most of us are quick to point out the wrong in others, for we feel comfortable in the belief that evil exists not just within us, but in other persons too. Safe in our comfort zone, we find a justification for our evil deeds. It is easiest to criticise.
Dale Carnegie, the author of the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, has correctly said, ‘Any fool can criticise, condemn, and complain-and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.’
It is not easy to praise anyone as we are usually so full of ourselves. We believe that if we appreciate anyone, that the person stands out better than us, or in other words, makes us look inferior. It requires the genius of Emerson to admit, ‘Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.’
What we do not understand is that by appreciating others, we learn from them and can become better people by absorbing in us the qualities we have appreciated.
But we are so used to criticising people simply because they are not like us. This is the most foolish act we can commit, for it turns the world against us.