Usually appreciation is not well connected to critique, and usually critique is not well connected to appreciation. So having those two combined helps you discern what’s really going on with this person or thing. It helps them discern too. With the way opened up by your appreciations, you can get deeper and deeper into it, as you look closer and closer. This is the magnifying glass of critical thinking, assisted and developed by its partnership with appreciation.
If we have something about our society, something about our democracy, something about the way we are relating to each other, or talking or making our decisions, we need to appreciatively critique it. And whatever wisdom generating dynamic we are dealing with, we want to intentionally expand the wisdom generating value of that thing as a resource for wisdom.
There is a way in which we can generalize that. Whenever we are relating to anyone or anything, it has a potential role in the wisdom of whatever happens next. If we have that perspective and carry it with us all the time and in all our engagements –if we appreciate that fact – that can be a very powerful addition to our life, to the lives of the people and situations that we are dealing with and to the larger society.
It’s like, if you have a belief in the value of dialogue and skills in the value of dialogue, and you can bring that to every situation you’re in, that can be part of creating a culture of dialogue.
I think we can carry the wisdom generating, the wisdom accessing, the wisdom sharing perspective into whatever we are dealing with, and do it from an appreciative angle that includes critique but is not limited to either appreciation or critique. That can be a very powerful way of enhancing the wisdom generating capacity of the whole community, society or group.