Monday, December 14, 2009

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

An Antidote to Criticism

We are all familiar with the angels’ words to the shepherds in announcing the birth of Jesus. They promised “peace on earth, good will toward men”.

We tend to focus on “peace on earth” – of course, something we all desire. However, we need to ponder more carefully “good will toward men” because that’s what creates peace on earth.

What does “good will” mean? "Will" is our power to choose. It is also our wish, desire or attitude. Thus, “good will toward men” means we choose to view others in a good, positive way.

On the other hand, when we criticize others, we are seldom looking at them in a positive way but rather in a negative way. We could say we have “bad will toward men”.

An antidote for criticism, then, is to choose to see others in a more positive light. We may still make requests or give suggestions but we make them with respect and good will.