Why Criticism is Necessary

Criticism (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

While reading my FB friends’ posts which consist mostly of updates about super typhoon Yolanda, I noticed an update of a UP professor that I had been following, that says:

Because of my posts, many people are asking why am I criticizing the government when the priority is to help. We should never oppose assistance with critique. Our assistance should be compassion with justice. Without CNN Anderson Cooper’s criticism of relief operation, Korina Sanchez would have not gone to Tacloban; without the victims complaining themselves, the government would have continued its failed response, without the vigilance and criticism against government bureaucracy the relief good would have been hijacked and used for political purposes. And when we wait til the rehabilitation is over to voice out our criticisms, we will only get frustrated for the criminals had already fooled the people and entrenched themselves in their thrones. Help now, criticize later –the mantra of those in power.” – Gerry Lanuza

Most pro-PNoys, those who stood aloof because they have everything, and those who are wont to just keep silent even if a bad situation requires one to say something against, had also broken their silence by telling that what is needed from everyone else now is to help and not attack each other, not to wage war against our fellowmen, and not to berate the President and his officials.  Now that is some criticism, too, though some are unfounded, because we know for a fact that the sharpest criticisms come from those who are on the ground, and who had given a lot to help, and from those who had been trying hard to reach the afflicted in the quickest possible time.  But they help in ways making everybody be on guard of the words that come out – if they are already personal or ‘trollish’ and not constructive.

Criticisms connote the good and the bad but they are necessary.  If we go back to Prof. Lanuza’s post, it helps that there are people bold enough to say something about inconsistencies, irregularities, abnormalities, superficialities, impartialities, and all ‘ties and ‘ies that define evil in the midst of a tragedy such as this brought by the supertyphoon Yolanda.

I thought of expounding this but I just want to say it as simple as it is – criticisms are necessary, as Winston Churchill said:

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

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