Rising above grudges [Archives:2008/1149/Viewpoint]

April 24 2008

Criticizing is easy. In fact it comes off as the talent everyone seems to possess, yet constructive criticism is a different thing all together. Constructive criticism includes conveying a healthy message about the issue or person criticized along with ideas for improvement. It also includes space and tolerance to accommodate more than one opinion. It allows space for democracy and freedom op opinion for the common good.

All this, is yet to be understood by both Yemeni people and government including media, activists and politician or political observers.

It seems that any issue of argument as displayed in media and public gatherings has turned from a national issue to personal concerns. The lashing by the government newspapers against the opposition for example or even vice versa gives a feeling that there is personal enmity between the two conflicting parties not that it is an issue concerning the common good. Many times it could reach personal insult and direct abuse which is behavior not acceptable at all and not the least professional.

If we want to be heard, appreciated and understood we must learn to tolerate the differences in a constructive manner. Otherwise credibility of the opinion voices and even the person voicing it will be in stake.

This is particularly important for media tools to understand whether government or non-government. They represent the intellectual voices of the society and they should play a role model. If we are not careful what we portray then not only the local but also the international community will not take us seriously, let away the person or issue being criticized.

Before preaching about democracy and tolerance we should practice it ourselves, because as we lose ourselves to our personal grudges a nation gets lost in the mess.