As a teacher, this is one of the more difficult tasks
in my life. After all, one of the main goals of a
teacher is to help students to correct their mistakes, and
in order for that to happen, we have to find those
mistakes and let students know about them.
Unfortunately, when we do this we tend to focus on
weaknesses, and we tend to ignore the students'
strengths. If we can build on those strengths,
however, we can help students to learn more and to be
stronger in all that they do.
If I'm a faultfinder, I'm looking for things to criticize,
and then I'm sharing my criticisms. I'm letting a
person know that something that they've done or that
they're doing doesn't measure up to standards, and that
they need to fix something. Something about them is
flawed, in other words, and that's the message they
hear. What people internalize more than anything
else is the idea that something's wrong with them, not the
idea that with a little bit of work they may be able to do
things much better.
If we approach things with love, though--if we look for
the loving way to deal with a situation--we may find that
we bring hope to the person instead of
self-criticism. We may find that we give enthusiasm
and encouragement instead of feelings of despair.
When we try to find the loving way of doing things, we can
make a person feel very good about his or her strengths
instead of feeling very bad about his or her weaknesses.
Finding fault is easy. Usually, though, it's a
pretty selfish way of making ourselves feel better by
focusing on someone else's shortcomings rather than a
loving way of helping another person to come closer to
reaching his or her potential. And when we live in a
society that values faultfinding over love-finding, it
becomes very easy to make others feel awful by becoming
one of the faultfinders ourselves, and contributing to the
negative in the world instead of trying to build the
positive in the world by focusing on the love in any
situation we encounter. The selfish way or the
loving way? It should be an easy choice.