Constructive Criticism

02:50 Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I have to admit I don’t handle constructive criticism very well. It’s one of those things that back dates to primary school.

Usually people react to criticism by avoiding it, taking it to heart or reacting aggressively to it. Criticism can be helpful if it is specific, acknowledges positives, is calm, to the point, doesn't stereotype or label people and is focused on a person's behaviour rather than an attack on the person.
I tried to google for some tips on how to best handle such situations and this is what I call the good girl answer:
Here are some tips to use criticism assertively:
• Face and listen to criticism rather than avoid it.
• Don't take it to heart.
• React calmly and respect others rights, there is no point attacking the person.
• Be prepared for constructive criticism.
• See constructive criticism as useful to everyone concerned. Being open to constructive criticism can be tough at first. Remember, you too can make constructive criticism. This does not include blaming, put-downs or attempting to hurt someone to get what you want.

I read this a few times but it didn’t inspire confidence within me. I wanted a more cracking solution than the textbook answer.

When someone offers compliments first, and then goes on to point out the errors, likely as not, they are offering constructive criticism with good intentions.
I believe that how to determine if the criticism is right or wrong is never take one person's criticism seriously, but take two or three of the same opinions more seriously. One person can be wrong, two people may be wrong, but if you hear the same criticism from three different people, you may want to pay attention.
However, even in a situation where four people have the same criticism it doesn't necessarily mean they are right. Remember, the film "Titanic" was criticized harshly by several film critics.

Criticism should be viewed like a jury returning from deliberating in a criminal trial. When a criminal is accused of a crime, we don't put it in the hands of three jurors or even six. We put it in the hands of twelve.

However, there is a right and wrong way to criticise. Constructive criticism is given by someone who is honestly pointing out what they believe to be errors in an attempt to help you correct them. Destructive criticism is a blatant put-down with every intention of making you look bad. The key is to recognize the difference.


12:36 Posted In , , , Edit This 6 Comments »
This is my first official fast for Ramadan. As a diabetic, I was told never to fast because it would make me ill. However, with development of DNA insulin this has meant that I am now able to fast.

Basically, insulin can be split into two. Background insulin, which covers sugars that the liver dumps, and quick acting insulin, which is used for carbohydrates that I eat. So, to fast I have to take my background and quick acting insulin at sahoor. It is important that I take my background insulin at set times so 4am and then again at 8pm in order to keep my sugars stabilised. I do not need to take any more insulin until Iftar. It is important that if you are a diabetic, you understand your illness and seek medical advice before fasting.

I had a few teasing problems with getting the right amount of insulin into my system which meant I haven’t been able to fast some of the first 15 days of Ramadan. I started having low blood sugars, which meant I had to break my fast otherwise Allah (SWT), would consider it to be invalid.

I’ve felt left out during Ramadan for the obvious reason that my diabetes wouldn’t allow me to fast. I wanted to feel that hunger, patience, experience what the poor go through, self-control and importantly being close to Allah (SWT). At one point, I felt a fraud because I found it hard to do 20 taraweh prayers even though my belly was full all day from enjoying all the wonderful food my parents prepared. Now that I more empowered myself with the knowledge of the deen, I believe that my illness was given to me for a reason especially in helping others who cannot afford insulin. I also realised that Allah (SWT) forgave me and others with illnesses especially to ease possible hardship. It is all about the intention and wanting to better oneself as a Muslim but without putting oneself in danger.

May Allah (SWT) make this Holy and best of all months a blessed one for all the Ummah. May Allah (SWT) accept everyone’s fast, prayers, duas, sadaqah and zakat. May Allah (SWT) make us stronger and better Muslims. May Allah (SWT) send us all to jina faradous. Ameen.

Ode To a Best Friend

15:18 Edit This 3 Comments »

Can you see her?
Glowing, shining, a breathe of fresh air
Don't blink! One sight of her will illuminate the darkest of hearts
Can you see her?
Pink, green, blue and brown. They represent the shades of her fantastic aura
Don't blink! Her beauty shines like a starry night and those that see her will know her light
Can you see her?
Kindness, love, books and thoughts. All part and parcel of a special soul
Don't blink! You will miss that meaningful message which only she possesses
Can you see her?