Gossip, criticism, and speculation

Beware of the person who always fault-finds, incessantly treasure hunts for weaknesses in others to criticize, and enjoys the practice of speculating with incomplete knowledge. Whose words mostly drip with the poison of ridicule. Beware, for they only lead toward spiritual stagnation and soul-corruption; toward utter darkness and damnation.

There are innumerable reasons why this habit is ruinous, but I will cite only a few here. By always fault-finding, it means they are constantly focusing on what they cannot control. And since you can only change what you can control, the criticism is a way to 1) blind themselves from recognizing the deficiencies in their own soul, which is the only thing they can really control; 2) outsource responsibility to others for bringing the change that they are meant to inwardly make; and 3) avoid the painstaking effort of inner conquest and addressing their own faults. Hence by criticism, they fortify the dark wall around their soul that nothing can penetrate for self-recognition, thus enabling everything within them to remain unchanged and unchallenged! Another consequence of this habit is the tendency to always blame others for one’s problems, and closely linked therein is the penchant of always wallowing in the morass of comfortable victimhood in all things. The core of this habit is indolence and conceit, and is a pretty way to avoid earnest self-examination to detect the link between cause within and effect without. Furthermore, such chatter is always powerless. Powerless because nothing can really change, since anyone engaging in it is not really making any change, but just spewing poisonous derision upon others. So by talking and thinking in this way, a person will always remain utterly powerless and will spiritually vegetate!

On the contrary, that person who constantly searches his soul for the root causes of the disharmony and suffering he experiences, who always earnestly searches for lessons he can apply to change himself within, and who sees the faults of others that disturb him as a reflection of qualities he harbors…only he is a true friend whose ways lead upward! Such a person will even leave his fellowman who exhibits faults unmolested by crude criticism, in the full recognition he himself would like the same mercy to be extended him for the faults he still exhibits toward others! And so, he slowly becomes powerful because he focuses almost exclusively on what he can control and personally change. He eschews “speculation” which typically involves incomplete information that invariably always caters to the vanities, weaknesses and indolence of the speculator. For he wishes to be grounded in complete knowledge that he can personally act upon to change, not baseless paralyzing speculation. Thus, he earnestly focuses on what he can personally control in order to inwardly change; directing all talk offered him by others to this end.

Only this person is a true friend whose ways lead upward.

~Ikenna Q Ezealah

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