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Criticism: Constructive or Complacent? / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on March 5, 2014

He raised his hand at the meeting. The director had told them “don’t
hold back,” so he took advantage of the chance to say what he’d remained
silent about for months. He started with the very low wages paid to
public workers. Then he talked about the dirty bathrooms, the
water shortages, that the only sterilizer was broken, the leaks all over
the . He continued with the heat in the waiting room packed with
patients and the lack of surgical instruments. He finished up with the
exclamation, “it’s more than anyone can stand,” which plunged the room
into a heavy and uncomfortable silence.

At the end someone approached him to say that his criticism hadn’t been
constructive but merely a catharsis. So he didn’t speak again at any
other meeting.

Behind the argument of looking for opportune and uplifting criticisms,
hide those who in reality do not want any kind of criticism. For them,
being proactive means bowing and preceding every statement with a
flattering phrase. One should never, according to these encouragers of
applause — question the system, much less the inefficiencies that don’t
allow it to function. Being “constructive” amounts to not calling to
account the current leaders of the political process, much less
questioning the ideological model. One also needs to show a blind faith
that everything will be resolved with “wise leadership” at the highest
levels.

If someone deviates from the script of tolerated criticism, the
disqualifiers will rain down upon them. Chip on the shoulder, whiner,
crybaby… will be the first insults, although later it’ll move on to the
already hackneyed “CIA agent,” “counterrevolutionary” or “enemy of the
nation.” Their observations will never find the opportune moment,
because they don’t include submission or self-blame.

Criticism doesn’t need a name. It doesn’t need to be classified as
“constructive” or “destructive,” but it should be delivered with total
rigor, regardless. Like rubbing medicine on a festering sore, criticism
hurts, it makes you cry, it’s torture… but it cures.

5 March 2014

Source: Criticism: Constructive or Complacent? / Yoani Sanchez |
Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/criticism-constructive-or-complacent-yoani-sanchez/

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