Part I – Chapter 1: If you want to get honey, don’t destroy the hive
May 7, 1931.
The noise and the sound of running feet on the streets of New York. The police are chasing a dangerous criminal. Finally, after a lot of effort and determination, the police caught Crowley “Two Guns”, a serial killer, right where he did not expect: his lover house on West End Avenue.
One hundred and fifty policemen and secret agents surrounded the tallest building where he was hiding. They pierced roofs, blew smoke, and set up machine guns in the windows of surrounding buildings. The shrill sound of machine guns and pistols resounded for more than an hour.
Inside that top floor of room, Crowley hid behind thick padded armchairs, fiercely fending off the police force with machine gun fire. But in the end, this criminal with a talent for marksmanship also had to surrender.
New York Police Chief E. P. Mulrooney emphasized that “Two Guns” Crowley is one of the most dangerous and heinous criminals in the history of crime in this most populous city in the United States. A very remarkable point about the person Crowley is: “For a small reason, even without any reason, or simply to relieve sadness, he can also point a gun at someone and pull the trigger”.
However, that is the opinion of the police. This cold-blooded criminal does not think so. When the police outside tried to find a way to arrest him, in the room, Crowley was writing a letter. And, this is what Crowley wrote: “Under this mantle lies a weary but tender heart, a heart that never hurts anyone.” Reading these lines, who can’t feel their own heart? Just hours before, Crowley had opened fire on a traffic cop when he stopped his car to check his driver’s license when the officer collapsed. Crowley jumped out of the car, grabbed the victim’s shotgun and coldly delivered another shot to the trembling dying body.
Crowley was sentenced to death. In the electric chair at Sing Sing prison, he also fallaciously saying, “Is this the punishment I have to receive for killing people? No! This is the punishment I have to take just because I need to protect myself.”
It is strange that such an obvious villain refuses to admit his guilt.
I corresponded with Lewis Lawer, the warden of Sing Sing prison (where the most dangerous criminals in New York are kept), Lewis Lawer confided: “Very few prisoners in Sing Sing see themselves as bad people. They think they are just ordinary people like you and me. They can tell you why they broke a safe or quickly pulled the trigger. Most of them try to come up with lies to justify their illegal and unscrupulous acts. They insist that there is no reason to put them in jail.”
If Al Capone , “Two Guns” and the brothers and sisters of the gangsters never admitted their heinous crimes, would ordinary people easily admit their mistakes? make a mistake in your everyday life?
John Wanamaker, the founder of the retail chain that bears his name, once admitted: “Thirty years ago, I understood that it was stupid to berate people. I had a lot of trouble that seemed intolerable before I understood the obvious fact that God has given each person a unique character, no two are like any other. And, because of that, I can’t expect everyone to behave the same and everyone knows how to criticize themselves when they do something bad.”
Indeed, the brilliant Wanamaker learned that lesson early on, while it took me a third of a century of tinkering to understand that 99% of us never criticize ourselves for anything, or whatever, no matter how wrong we may be.
Criticism is useless, it only causes resistance and excuses. Criticism can also be dangerous because it taps into people’s stubborn pride, hurts their sense of importance, and ends up creating only anger and hatred. Criticism also causes a reaction to deny responsibility, and at the same time, generate discouragement and discouragement while the fault remains unresolved.
World-renowned psychologist B. F. Skinner has experimentally proven that a pet praised for good behavior learns and remembers better than an animal punished for bad behavior. Recent studies show that this finding holds true for humans as well.
The eminent psychologist Hans Selye said: “The fear of condemnation in humans is as great as the desire for approval.” George B. Johnston of Enid, Oklahoma, is in charge of worker safety in a design firm. His important responsibility is to make the workers wear helmets every time they work at the construction site. He recounted that, whenever he saw workers without helmets, he often use power to force them to comply with regulations, they reluctantly accepted.
But as soon as he turned his back, they took off their hats. After training with Dale Carnegie, he decided to try a different approach. When he saw a few workers not wearing their helmets, he asked them if the helmets weren’t right or if something was wrong. He then reminded them that when working, they should wear helmets to avoid being hurt or in danger when an unexpected incident occurs. As a result, the number of workers accepting hats increased without any objections or unpleasant attitudes.
It is easy to find countless failures due to the critical character of man throughout the history of all peoples. Such is human nature. Those who do evil and criticize others never criticize themselves and look back at themselves. And, criticism is like a carrier pigeon, always returning to where it came from. It is a very dangerous thing that the people we criticize and condemn will inevitably find reasons to defend themselves and condemn us against.
On the morning of April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in the room of a motel across the street from the Ford Theatre. Looking at Lincoln with eyes of deep respect and regret, Secretary of Defense Stanton exclaimed: “This is the world’s greatest leader since antiquity.”
What is the secret to Lincoln’s success in such a leadership role? In my opinion, it was the way he treated people that helped him receive their special affection and love. However, that personality is not due to his natural gift, but because he has trained it.
Few people know that in the past, Lincoln when he was still in Pigeon Creek Valley, Indiana, not only liked to criticize harshly, but also often wrote letters and poems to ridicule others and spread them on the street for everyone to read. Few people know that the excellent lawyer Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois, often openly criticizes his opponents with articles published in local magazines. That arrogance and extravagance would probably last much longer, if not for a day.
One day in the fall of 1842, a feisty young man mocked an arrogant statesman named James Shields with an unsigned article in the Springfield magazine. The whole city laughed at James. So James boiled with indignation. Either way, he must find the person who wrote the article. He rode after Lincoln and threw his gloves to challenge Lincoln to a sword fight for honor.
Lincoln did not like fencing, he even fought against this procedure, but under the circumstances, he could not avoid it if he wanted to preserve his honor. Lincoln is allowed to choose weapons. Because of his very long arms, he chose the cavalry’s longsword and learned fast fencing from a friend who graduated from West Point.
On their appointment, he and James went to a sandy beach by the Mississippi River. Fortunately, at the last minute, their maids helped both heads, which were burning with murderous intent, to understand everything and put an end to the one on one battle.
It was only when faced with the line between his own and others’ life and death that Lincoln realized how terrible the experience was. That failed deadly swordfight taught him an invaluable lesson in how to treat others. From then on, Lincoln never wrote insulting letters to anyone, never mocked anyone, and almost never criticized anyone about anything again.
During the American Civil War, Lincoln nominated Generals McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade to lead the Potomac army. Every general made terrible mistakes that sent Lincoln into despair many times. Half the country vehemently condemns these incompetent generals. Lincoln alone always showed goodwill and did not criticize any of them. One of his favorite sayings is: “We should not condemn others so that we may not be condemned ourselves.”
When Mrs. Lincoln and his cabinet harshly condemned the people of the South, Lincoln advised: “Don’t criticize them. Because maybe, we would do the same under similar circumstances.”
There were a couple of times when Lincoln almost criticized others himself. But he didn’t criticize even though he had perfectly good reason to do so.
The Battle of Gettysburg took place over the first three days of July 1863. On the night of July 4, General Lee, of the Confederate army, began to withdraw his troops south while rainstorms brought downpours. In front of him and his defeated army was the roaring Potomac River, its water billowing with white foam. Behind was an army of victorious confederates in pursuit. Lee is stuck in the middle and has almost no way out.
From headquarters, Lincoln immediately recognized this as a golden opportunity to capture General Lee’s army and end the war. So Lincoln ordered General Meade to stop summoning the guild in the war, he immediately set out to attack Lee. Lincoln telegraphed the order and then sent an envoy to Meade demanding immediate action.
But what did General Meade do? He did the opposite of the President’s orders: convened a war council. Not only that, but he hesitated to buy time, then telegrammed Lincoln’s orders. The next morning, the water receded, and General Lee crossed the Potomac River with full force.
Lincoln was angry and mad, he shouted to his son Robert: “Oh my God! Father can’t understand! We just need to extend our hand to capture it all. Yet all that he said and did could not cause the army to immediately attack the enemy. Under such favorable circumstances, any general could defeat Lee. If I had been there, I would have beaten General Meade right away.”
In extreme bitterness and disappointment, Lincoln wrote to Meade. During this period, Lincoln was extremely conservative and it was difficult to change his mind. That is why the letter Lincoln wrote to Meade in 1863 was filled with the harshest words of reproach:
I don’t believe you didn’t realize the danger in letting Lee get away just now. He is almost completely in our hands. And if Lee were caught, this civil war might be over. But he missed the golden opportunity and this war will not know how long it will last.
If last Monday, he could not defeat Lee under such favorable conditions, then now and then, what can he do to attack Lee south of the river while he is only 2? /3 force that you used to have? There’s no reason I can expect you to turn things around. He completely missed the once in a lifetime opportunity. I cannot express my disappointment and anger right now towards you!”
What do you think Meade did when he read this letter?
Meade did nothing because he never read the letter! Simply because Lincoln didn’t send it. It was found in his files after Lincoln died.
It’s my guess, just a guess, after writing this letter, Lincoln looked out the window and softly said to himself, “Wait! Maybe I shouldn’t be in such a hurry. It shouldn’t be difficult sitting here in the peace of the White House ordering Meade to attack.
But assuming we were at Gettysburg last week, seeing with our own eyes the horrible bloodshed as Meade had seen it, and hearing the screams and screams of dying comrades as Meade heard it, then perhaps we would too, will no longer want to attack. And besides, if I had Meade’s timid, hesitant nature, I might as well have done what he did.
Anyway, the matter is over, the water has flowed over the bridge. If this letter is sent, I will vent my anger somewhat but Meade can find a way to defend himself or come back to condemn me. That would cause negative reactions, hinder Meade’s ability later as Commander-in-Chief and maybe, even worse, because of that, he could be forced out of the army. This was a glaring mistake, and Meade will certainly realize it later.”
Perhaps it was because of such thoughts that Lincoln pushed the letter aside. He has learned from bitter experience that harsh criticism and criticism almost always produce negative results.
Theodore Roosevelt recounts that, when faced with problems, he often leaned back in his chair and looked up at the large portrait of Lincoln hanging on his desk in the White House and wondered, “What will Lincoln do? What would you do if you were in this situation, how would you solve the problem?”.
The great writer Mark Twain once wrote a letter to a man who infuriated him: “What you need to do now is get a permit to bury yourself. Just let me know and I’ll take care of it.” Another time, he wrote to a publisher about the proofreader’s desire to correct his spelling and punctuation errors: “In the future, don’t make any corrections to my works and ask your hand to correct them.
Let him keep the crazy ideas in his lousy head until he dies.” Writing such harsh, sarcastic letters made Mark Twain feel better. Those harsh words helped him release his anger. But fortunately they didn’t cause any damage because the simple thing was that Mark Twain’s wife discreetly kept them all. Those letters never reach the recipient.
Is there someone you want to change and correct yourself for the better? I fully support this. But why not start with yourself? Changing yourself is a much more useful and realistic thing than changing others, and the probability of success is also much higher. Confucius once said, “Don’t criticize your neighbor’s roof for a lot of snow when your own door is not clean.”
If you want to be hated by someone for decades and even when you die, you will still be hated then give that person harsh criticism, even if you know for sure that the criticism is true.
In fact, people very rarely think clearly right and wrong with reason. Humans often behave according to their emotions, prejudices and especially their inherent pride.
The harsh criticism caused Thomas Hardy, one of the illustrious novelists of English literature, to give up writing fiction forever. Extreme criticism also pushed Thomas Chatterton, the English poet, to commit suicide.
Benjamin Franklin, who was rude in his youth, became such a talented diplomat that he was chosen as the American ambassador to France. When asked about the secret to his success, he replied: “I don’t say bad things about anyone, but only say the good things I know about them.”
Any thoughtless person can criticize, resent and complain about others. And most thoughtless people do. But one must have self-control and have a tolerant and generous soul to be able to understand and forgive others.
Great people often show their greatness in the way they treat small people. The story below is a concrete example.
Bob Hoover is a famous American aerobatic pilot. During a test flight, when he had just taken off and climbed to altitude, both engines of the plane suddenly stopped working. Thanks to his experience and ingenuity, he was able to bring the plane to the ground.
Although there were no casualties, the plane was almost completely damaged. Hoover’s first action after the emergency landing was to check the plane’s fuel tank. Just as he had surmised, the fuel tank of that World War II propeller plane had no gas at all, it was filled with jet fuel instead. The reason the plane started at first was thanks to the remaining fuel before.
When he returned to the airport, he immediately went to find the mechanic who had serviced his plane. The young mechanic was scared and regretful to the point of near frenzy. As Hoover approached, his face of dismay and panic was streaked with tears. He knows he’s just made an unforgivable mistake: crashing a very expensive plane and nearly killing three people.
One can imagine a fury and fierce scolding from the proud pilot about to pour down on the mechanic. But no, Hoover put his big arms around the mechanic’s shoulders and said, “I’m sure you’ll never make this mistake again. As proof of my trust in you, I want you to continue preparing for my F-51 tomorrow morning.” I believe you can imagine the mechanic’s immense emotion and appreciation for Hoover after that gesture of generosity.
Parents often tend to scold their children. However, before you scold your child next time, please read the article “Father Forgotten”. This article first appeared in the People’s Home Journal. We reprint it here with permission from the author.
“Father Forgotten” is a short composition written in a moment of heartfelt emotion, so powerfully affecting so many readers that it is required to be reprinted every year. Immediately after its first appearance, this famous article was published in all Myo newspapers, translated into many different languages, widely spread in schools, churches, on forums. and has appeared in countless radio and television programs.
Interestingly, high school and college periodicals also use this article. Sometimes a small thing can make a huge impact. This article really created a miracle for the parents in the family.
Forgotten Father – W. Livingston Larned
“Dear son, listen to dad’s regrets, your dad. Dad snuck into son’s room alone while son was asleep. Look at! one son’s hand under son’s cheek, curls of brown hair. Sweat clung to son’s damp forehead. Just a few minutes ago, as Dad sat in the library reading son’s essay, regret flooded Dad’s soul, and Dad ran to son’s room to ask for forgiveness.
My son, Dad was angry and yelled at son when son a towel to wipe son’s face while changing clothes for school, when son left son’s dirty shoes or saw son throwing things around in the house.
Dad always looks at all son’s mistakes. In the morning, Dad finds that son is untidy when son wakes up, and son eats in a hurry and son puts too much food on son’s plate at once. Because Dad only saw the mistake, when son said hello to dad and son asked for permission to go out to play, dad only frowned and dad answered curtly with no sympathy: “Hmm! Will son come back soon!”.
In the afternoon, Dad was also angry with son’s negligence of duty. When Dad saw son’s socks were torn, Dad embarrassed son in front of son’s friends by dragging son home. Son really made Dad very angry for not being frugal, refusing to take care of the things that son didn’t have to work hard and dad save money to buy them for son.
When Dad was reading the newspaper, son timidly walked up to dad and looked at dad with innocent eyes, dad shouted again: “What does son want?”. And how touched dad’s heart was when son just silently ran over, wrapped son’s little arms around dad’s neck tightly with all son’s love and affection, and then ran away as fast as son could.
Dad love you! son!
Son! Does son know? the newspaper left dad’s hand in silence and a choking fear and pain invaded dad’s heart. What did Dad do? Dad has turned myself into a father who spends all day looking at his son’s sins. A father who only looks for bad things in his son to blame, and this is the reward dad gives son as a child? Dad just want to be like this, Dad just want son to behave like an adult. Dad has measured son with a ruler for an adult, with both Dad’s years of life and Dad’s old experience.
Dad love you! son!
While Dad looks at you with those old and sad eyes, full of prejudice and scrutiny, Dad doesn’t care about the good and the good and the sincere and innocent in son’s character, son’s little heart is as warm and big as the dawn, giving warm rays of sunshine to the vast hills. Dad innocently rushed in to kiss son good night without being bothered by the fact that dad yelled at son all day and Dad was angry with son for unreasonable reasons.
Dad love you! son!
Dad couldn’t wait any longer. Dad must hurry up to you, Dad kneels by the little bed and Dad looks at son’s innocent face in son’s sleep with great regret.
Perhaps, son is too young to understand the emotions that are flooding dad’s heart. Dad promises you, right from this moment, Dad will return to being a true father and Dad always appreciates son’s love even in the hot moments of anger. Dad will be son’s faithful friend, Dad will suffer when son is unhappy, Dad will laugh when son is lucky and happy. Dad will bite his lips so that Dad doesn’t say harsh words every time the angry demon rises in my heart. Dad ‘ll tell himself that son is still a baby.
Oh, Dad seem to have looked at my child like a real adult. Now, watching you curled up in the blanket and sleeping tiredly in your tiny bed, it suddenly dawned on dad that son was just an innocent child.
In the morning, son was still cuddling in my mother’s loving arms. The baby’s soft silky hair is still entangled on the mother’s shoulder, son needing to be protected in the feeling of being loved. However, Dad asked too much of son.
I have read this story many times and always feel the same emotion as the first time. Then I wonder how many times in my life I have also been angry for no reason at the people around me. Be sympathetic, understand people instead of resenting them. Put yourself in their shoes to see why they behave the way they do. “Knowing everything also means forgiving everything”.
As Dr. Johnson once said: “Even God doesn’t judge a person until the last minute of their life”. Then why do you and I do it?
* The people you meet along the way will influence your life. For better or worse, they give you wonderful life experiences. Therefore, do not condemn, criticize or complain to anyone. Even if someone hurts you, betrays you, or takes advantage of your kindness, please forgive them because maybe it is through them that you learn to be tolerant.
* Criticizing a person is not difficult, going beyond that judgment to behave generously and altruistically is something to be proud of.
Principle 1: Do not criticize, resent or complain.