The statement – ‘we shall get back to you once we have reviewed’ used to freak me out at one point but I realised through my life in academia that reviews play a critical role in shaping the contents, sharpening the perspectives and in my case, correcting grammar and language.
I call it an ‘institutional impact’ where no reviews put me in dilemma. Whether it’s an amazon purchase or an app purchase or a Facebook page; reviews and ratings make me comfortable. I do understand that biases play a crucial role in these, however, the comfort of it, is something that I can’t deny.
Reviewing purchases are far different from reviewing a journal article because the scales and parameters of liking a product are entirely human than checking for scientific contribution or checking for an impact that a particular drug could potentially have on the masses. However, it can’t be denied that products or purchases or brand reviews drive customers in and out. These reviews are predominantly for the masses by the masses. Thus, like fire, bad words and bad reviews spread far and wide in a shorter span of time than one can ever imagine. Even when the fire is put out, the smoke lingers.
Words just like thoughts, once put out, keep ringing from time to time. Once these words are used to construct statements, regardless of them holding truth or lies, things go beyond mass comprehension. It’s these words that one then identifies the brand with, the products with and more often than not, the individual behind it.
I love the concept of adopting a thick skin and putting blinkers on, to just focus on what you want but when your work faces the masses directly, it should be a mutual responsibility. A responsibility of protecting each other’s dignity and that of nurturing each other, given the finite time and possibilities.
Naming, shaming, provoking and blaming rarely offer any solution. On the contrary, gratitude serves all, in different portions. Our time in this world is finite and with defined destinies to meet; words and thoughts could serve all of us better if we keep it clean.
Remember that muddy water that we used to play in as kids? We never slept in those muddy clothes for the fear of disease. If cleanliness in clothes and body is what we, as humans, seek then why should our thoughts and words be any different than these?
Hence, by all means, do review .. Review your purchases, films that you watch, things that you see, places that you visit .. review everything, share your opinions, provide judgements but do pause to clean.