Thursday, March 11, 2010

Praise me not

In the Srimad Bhagvatam, there is a story of a King called Prithu who ruled the world . He was considered as an avatar or part incarnation of the Lord Himself. The earth was barren then and it was this king who forced the earth to yield food grains, fruits etc. The earth is called Prithvi (in Sanskrit) because of this king. When his subjects, in their joy, came to sing his praises this is what he had to say "Praise me not".

"Praises, while they sound pleasing to the ears, are actually slow / sweet poison. People generally tend to go overboard when praising someone and it soon takes the flavour of flattery. The person being praised gets carried away and starts believing what others say about him. This leads him into a kind of fools paradise where he starts living in an imaginary world."

"Rather than praise, tell me what are my shortcomings. Help me to identify defects which I may tend to overlook or ignore. If you really care for me, tell me how I can be a better human being, a better leader and a better person. Do not lull me into a sense of complacency by speaking positive words. I know fully well that I am imperfect and help me to progress towards perfection."

What a wonderful lesson for each one of us!!

Most of us seek the exact opposite. We crave for positive strokes. We hate critics and criticism. Perhaps we do not have the strength of character, self confidence or mental toughness to face the negative feedback. However, if we cultivate this attitude and welcome criticism and shun praise we could become great indeed.

"Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don't swallow it." Hank Ketcham

"If you are not criticized , you may not be doing much" Donald Rumnsfeld


anupama said...

Dear Vish,
Good Evening!
In this modern world when life is full of chaoss,stress and conflicts, people use praises as means of achieving their goals.And we do fall for it.Praise works in all fields.
Real friends are rare who point out our mistakes.I always tell my close friends to tell me when I go wrong.
Appreciation is different from praise and we must appreciate the right people for the right reasons.
You are doing a wonderful job,
And this is not my praise,but truth;
Many find the right directions of life,
After reading your value based posts.
Blessed you will be forever.

Anonymous said...

A nice post..
Praise encourages positive behaviour but it should not be done to the point of flattery.We must praise people for any good that they do.Similarly criticism may not be agreeable but sometimes it is necessary.

The way we respond to criticism much depends on the way we respond to praise.If praise humbles us then criticism will build us up..but if praise inflates us then criticism will crush us and both lead to our defeat.


Vishwanath Seshadri said...

Dear Anu,

Thanks.. You were the first to comment..

I agree with you that appreciation and encouragement are important.. In fact, I have written a blog on this earlier...

When it comes to dealing with others, we should be appreciative, encouraging and understanding... However, when it comes to dealing with ourselves, we should (I believe) be demanding, critical and have high standards..



Vishwanath Seshadri said...

Dear Tyagi,

"The way we respond to criticism much depends on the way we respond to praise.If praise humbles us then criticism will build us up..but if praise inflates us then criticism will crush us and both lead to our defeat."

Wonderful thoughts and very well said..


V Rakesh said...

I'm guarded of those who praise me beyond measure!

Latha Nair said...

Nice one..
The chewing gum can be very addictive-makes it difficult to get by without the daily shot:)

Being Pramoda... said...

Hi Vish,

well..well...wonderfully written, and its worth though giving...:)

and i must say, beautiful cartoons too...:)

Anya said...

Its really
a wonderful lesson
for each one of us !!

Cyrus Rumi said...

Everything should be done in moderation...follow the middle way!!:)

A great post, brother:)



Subs said...

The story was good...
we should just ignore the praise and seek feedback, both + & - !

Haddock said...

Worth pondering.

arvind said...
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