[Kindness] watches the thoughts, controls the words, and helps us to unlearn [youth’s] inveterate habit of criticism.
Criticism is easy, fun even. We can easily discern others’ faults, and it takes little imagination to capitalize on these faults, aggrandizing ourselves while belittling others. As the fictional critic Anton Ego says in Ratatouille,
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.
Yet when we’re practicing active kindness, it puts a filter over our lips.
The quoted excerpt is from Father Frederick Faber’s Spiritual Conferences, excerpted here.