Double Standard of Critical Thinking

Whenever I hear teachers and parents talking about how important “critical thinking” is, I feel bitter about their double-standard. I’ve met very few people in my life who actually welcomed critical thinking when it was directed at them. But when we are being critical of anything, there is always someone behind it, whether it’s a product, policy, artwork, idea, society, or culture. After all, it would be absurd to be critical of, say, mountains, fish, or rain. In other words, those who encourage kids to think critically are suggesting that it is great as long as the people they are ultimately criticizing aren’t there to hear it. They are teaching how to talk behind their backs.