Question: In our work at the United Nations, how can we be discriminating without being critical?

Sri Chinmoy: Discrimination is one thing and criticism is something else. They are totally different things, like the North Pole and the South Pole. Let us take the mind and the heart. My heart has more receptivity than my mind. My physical, earthbound mind — sometimes unconsciously and many, many times deliberately — cherishes doubt, suspicion and many other unhealthy ideas, thoughts and desires. My heart all the time cries for inner beauty, divine love and oneness-life. My heart is awakened, whereas my mind is still fast asleep. Obviously I will differentiate between my mind and my heart. But just because, let us say, I love my heart more than I love my mind, will I consciously and constantly look down upon my mind? No! By criticising my mind, I am not helping it in any way and, at the same time, I am not helping my heart either.

In this world, some people are running fast, faster, fastest towards the destined goal, while others are sleeping or crawling or limping or walking very slowly. But God feels that those who are lagging behind can eventually run as fast as the other members of the family in the continuous journey towards the destined goal. He gives ample opportunity and inner assurance to the ones that are right now less progressive, so that they, too, can eventually run the fastest along the path of Eternity.

Criticism is not and can never be the answer. True, we have to differentiate between those who are utilising their highest capacities and those whose capacities are still dormant. But we shall not criticise. If somebody's capacity is still dormant, we shall encourage that individual to bring his capacity to the fore and run the fastest towards the goal. We do this not by criticising his shortcomings and weaknesses, but by exercising our power of concern, sympathy and compassion.