Recently, there was a young man came to my office and complained about his boss. This man got very angry toward his supervisor because his boss blamed very hardly on him for what he said that he did not make any mistake. This young man was crying and complaining that it's not right to get blamed for what he hasn't done any wrong. I listened to him quietly and gave some advices. One of the advise I gave was that there is no one who is absent from praise or blame. This is the worldly truth. If we accept this truth, there will be no suffering out of this matter. This reminds me of the Dhammapada (the Path of Truth) verse 228:
There never was
There never will be
Nor does there exist
A person who is wholly blamed or praised
Censure, blame and criticism are things no one wants to hear but all are unavoidable at one time or the other. Even a perfect person such as Buddha and etc. could not avoid this worldly truth. Ordinary people must go through adverse criticism on a daily basis. As an inevitable worldly truth, we must learn how to deal with it wisely. Not knowing how to deal with it, we are bound to suffering unnecessarily.
In the Dhammapada, it is advised that if anyone gives you criticism, censure or blame, you should thank him for his time pointing out your flaws to you. If what he points out is true, you should make amends. If not, you should generate loving-kindness toward him. Anyone who often gets angry when berated, censured or criticized should turn his way of thinking around and adopt a positive thought.
We should learn to think positively that censure (including criticism) has more worth than praise, as it makes us see our own flaws, faults, failings and failure, thus showing us the way to self-improvement. If what they criticize is not true, we should remain indifferent, as we are not what they say we are. What we are is the result of our own actions. We should adopt the attitude that a person is not good because of what he says, not a thief because of what he says but we are who we are and word of mouth cannot change that.
Those who are censured, blamed or criticized, if viewed positively, are fortunate and important. If we are not important enough, who will care enough to waste their time and energy to criticize us? The well-known thinker Dale Carnegie must have been well aware of the truth of the matter because whenever he was censured, blamed or criticized, he kept reminding himself that;
“Nobody kicks a dead dog.”