‘Critic’ plus ‘al’ constitute ‘Critical’. Now, by way of definition, ‘critic’ seems to have different meanings.
1. As per Merriam Webster dictionary, a critic is someone who professionally analyses, evaluates and then appreciates or depreciates. For example, a literary critic or a film critic.
2. A critic is someone who expresses a reasoned opinion when it involves judgement.
3. A critic is someone who gives harsh and captious judgments.
The suffix ‘al’ means ‘like or relating to’. So, when an adjective is formed from the word ‘critic’ by adding an ‘al’, it means someone who is like a critic and is involved in analysis and evaluation.
So, now the question is – which category do we fit in? Do we follow the criteria followed by professionals even when it comes to making any decisions in our life? Do we analyze and evaluate situations every time? Or is every aspect of our life worth thinking ‘critically’? Are our judgements harsh and biased?
As discussed in our session, we need not ‘dissect’ every aspect of our life. We need to make an informed choice.
One such anecdotal example is using ‘varakh’ (silver leaf) for religious rituals and for sweets (mithai). Until today I was not aware of the process of making varakh. I read 2-3 articles on how it is made and it was a revelation. Quoting from Maneka Gandhi’s article ‘Silver foils are not vegetarian’ – ‘Intestines of animals are made into pouches and silver is beaten in between them till it is thin enough to be sold’.
As I was not convinced, I searched for more articles. I came across one article by Archana Jyoti ‘Govt slogs its guts out for ‘vegetarian’ chandi ka vark’. It was a relief when I read – ‘Welcoming the ban, Shubh Chouksey, Director, Shree Jagannathji Sterling Product’s Pvt Ltd , which is in ‘chandi ka vark’ business, said that they have been already using a purely vegetarian process to manufacture the item with the help of fully automatic and computerised machines with new technology’.
But then again, I had a question – How will I know the silver leaf I am consuming or which is used for the religious purpose is a factory product?
So, now what? The process of thinking ‘critically’ has just begun for me regarding my religious beliefs. At the same time, I want to ensure that I don’t question each and every belief in my religion. I am okay with following certain aspects of my religion though I may be thought of as ‘conservative’ or ‘illogical’ or ‘impractical’ :))