This is a philosophical article. Don't read if you don't like to listen to philosophy. I know some don't.
I often hear of friends or colleagues or family members criticising people I know, and I wonder: are they really that bad, or are they merely too critical? Or is it just me? But what is it about me? Am I being less critical, or are people just being nice to me? But why are they just being nice to me and not another person?
We all know that everyone has their own personality, and therefore some personalities obviously will tend to clash. I have therefore learnt to NEVER - NEVER judge or criticise or condemn people as if my opinion about him/her is totally correct and true. I use the word 'opinion' because I truly believe that what I feel about the person is merely my views and not each and everyone.
I like to appreciate people for who they are, try to understand why they behave and think that way that probably do not conform to what the society wants of them. "Happy Feet" the animated movie dwells on this subject. Many other movies also use this issue as the theme: stereotypes about geeks, about blondes, about bullies, are no doubt true but that doesn't give us the authority to make fun of them or despise them, do we? Nowadays in TV drama, even baddies are given a chance to show a different light of why they act a certain manner that people see them as 'bad' while they themselves don't otherwise.
But that doesn't mean I approve of what they do. I merely appreciate and understand their point of view and take it at face value. But I'm not saying that people who criticises others are wrong. We should be happy to know that these friends are offering their views about certain people whom you should be wary of.
At the end of the day, it is hard not to impose your own opinions about people to others. But one must not expect their opinions to be totally accepted or believed unless proven. As a recipient of such information, you should also take it at face value and observe for yourself and to decide. Be neutral and objective, and use these information to piece together a person's personality, and to find means for you to co-exist with this person. We do not live alone on this society, this planet. We shoudn't live as if this is your own world. Co-existence is crucial to ensure survival for mankind.