REV DAVID FAREY: The balance between criticism and kindness

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

Its back! Saturday nights are once more a time to be in or set the video recorder. Strictly Come Dancing is back on our TV screens.

I have to admit to being a fan.

In the darkening days of the approaching winter it is a bit of froth and bubble to entertain.

I know it’s not everyone’s choice but there is no question that it is very popular.

What is interesting of course is not just seeing celebrities going through the agonies of learning dance routines well out of their comfort zones, but also the comments of the four judges.

You have the acid comments of Craig Revel Horwood, whose withering looks are enough to know that the couples are not in for glowing praise.

But contrast that with Len Goodman.

He is a hard taskmaster and has an uncanny eye for the slightest fault.

His comments can be hard, but more often than not are wrapped in a witty phrase and usually balanced with positive encouragement.

Of course Craig is the baddie of the piece just as in every pantomime there has to be one.

In the context of the programme such cutting criticism is safe and par for the course.

The problem is that life has people who believe they can be just as cutting and critical with everyone they meet.

They see themselves as superior in many things and feel they have the right to dole out criticism and have no regard for the feelings of the person they are criticising.

Len’s approach on the other hand has a gentleness which helps to soften the criticism.

The description of faults may still be there but there is always an attitude that wants more to draw alongside and help the person to improve, rather than leaving them devastated and feeling that they can do nothing right.

One shows a genuine compassion for the person being criticised, while the other does not.

Sadly I have come across all too 
many ‘Craigs’ in life; people who are 
too fond of giving devastating criticism that leaves people as crumpled 

Dealing with criticism is a lesson we all have to learn and quickly assess whether the comments are justified and if we then need to do something to improve in some area or other.

If not, we need to learn how to move on with our personal integrity intact!

Mercifully I have also met many ‘Lens’ as well and they have been an example of how to draw alongside people and help them to improve in some way, not in any high handed way, but with a genuine compassion.

I hope I am more of a ‘Len’ than a ‘Craig’!