Should we always listen to feedback?
While I was in grade 1, I remembered sitting on the ground with the classmates and listening as our teacher read us a book one sunny afternoon. It was a book about body parts and their unique and interesting functions. After finishing the book, she turned to the class and began asking us questions.
I remember one of the questions she asked us was, “What body part was responsible for taste?” I instantly raised my hand, because I knew what the correct answer was. When I was finally asked, I confidently stated my answer was, “the nose.” In that moment, everyone turned around and began laughing at me; including the teacher. She said I was wrong. Right away, another classmate blurted out that the “real” answer was the “tongue”.
Even though I was burning with embarrassment, I fully knew I was also correct. For every weekend, me and my siblings were locked up in my grandparents’ home. And they would always brew the most bitter ginseng herbal soup I have ever drank in my life. It would literally taste and smell like paint thinner. Regardless of its taste, we were all inevitably coerced into drinking every drop of that soup. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be allowed to proceed with dinner. After a period of time enduring this strange and unusual punishment, I gradually discovered the art of plugging my nose while drinking that dreaded soup. For this technique magically dulled all my taste buds and helped me drink gallons of soup over the years.
When I returned back to class the next day, I was horrified when my teacher called me over to her desk. But my fear was quickly alleviated, when I realized that she was trying to apologize to me. For over the previous night, she spent some time reflecting on my answer and realized that I was right as well.
In the end, feedback should been seen as a personal perspective rather than assuming it is always a universal truth. For the people who give us feedback are trying their best to teach us what is right; at least in their eyes. However, they might not always have the full picture.