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Hypocrisy: Thy Name is Human
What is Hypocrisy?
Before we can begin to discuss a topic like hypocrisy, we need to understand what hypocrisy is. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hypocrisy is, "the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do: behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel (merriam-webster.com)."
Basically, hypocrisy occurs when you partake in one action, while telling others not to do it. We often hear this when we are children, "do as I say, not as I do". For instance, a parent may have started drinking in his or her teens but tells his or her children not to drink until they are legally able to. Or, a parent may talk on their cell phone and drive while telling their child not to.
Hypocrisy can be found in almost every facet of life. You can find hypocrisy in school, at your job, politics, church, etc. Most of the time people are hypocritical and they don't even realize it. You might even find something hypocritical in this article. Just because something or someone is a hypocrite, does not mean that he, she, or it is necessarily bad. We are often hypocritical to protect others and ourselves. Looking back at the example of "do as I say, not as I do", you can see that parents might be hypocritical, but they are trying to protect their children from making the same mistakes that they made.
The question is, how does hypocrisy harm us?
So, How Does Hypocrisy Harm Us?
Today it seems that the world has gone insane! On all fronts we have movements that seem to do more harm than good, and the majority of these movements are full of hypocrisy. We have Black Lives Matter and Pro-life, just to name a few. What do all of these "movements" have in common? They are all hypocrites to a degree. BLM claims they are not excluding anyone, yet their chant is "black lives matter". This excludes every other race on the planet! Hypocrites! Pro-life groups are against abortion because they typically believe that abortion is murder. The majority even believe that a woman should carry a child full term that is a product of rape. I wonder how many would abort if they were raped or if they found out that they could die during childbirth, or that their child was severely deformed or ill and would have a short and painful life. Now I don't want to get too off topic, the purpose of this article is to discuss hypocrisy and how it affects our lives.
When we act in a hypocritical manner, we can either cause harm to ourselves or others, or we use it as a shield to make ourselves feel better. For example, Burger King was recently in the news for allegedly admitting that the majority of the meat in their burgers is horse meat. Although this story is actually false, many people "flipped out" when they read the false articles. People were devastated, they were appalled at the thought of eating horses. Now, think about this for a moment. How would you feel if you found out that an establishment had fed you horse instead of cow? Would you be outraged and disgusted or would you be okay with it? And if you were outraged and disgusted, why? Is it because horses are beautiful and majestic and not for consumption? If so, do you eat cow, chicken, pig, etc? See where I'm going with this? You, are a hypocrite! It's okay though. You most likely didn't realize is. This type of hypocrisy is typically not harmful to others, but it is harmful to you. If you are okay with eating cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, etc. because they are "food" but you refuse to eat horses, dogs, cats, etc. because they are "pets" and adorable, you are a hypocrite. Why love one, and eat the other? Now, I know people are insane these days; so I should note that I am not saying go out and eat cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, and whatever else you please; but realize that your thought process regarding the matter is skewed.
So how can hypocrisy be harmful? One example that comes to mind for me is church. When I was a teenager, I went to church with my family and I started to notice that when the church doors were closed, people praised the Lord and were good little Christians; but as soon as those church doors opened they became hypocrites. "Did you see what she was wearing?", this person was sleeping with that person, this person was a Christian on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday he or she lived a life of sin. Now, I don't want to get too religious here because I don't want to force my belief system onto you; but the Bible speaks of hypocrisy several times, and it is highly frowned upon. For instance, in Matthew 15:7-9, "You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines that commandments of men (KJV)." So here we can see that God knows when His children claim to worship Him, but in actuality they are doing it for show. If the church is full of hypocrites, they are only pulling God's children away from God. So be mindful and vigilant, and pay attention to the goings on in your church and mind yourself.
From a religious standpoint, hypocrisy can be greatly harmful, and this harm can spread throughout your life. Going back to the example of a parent being hypocritical in order to protect his or her child; we can see how the parent did this to protect the child...but it can actually be harmful depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a parent tells a child not to do something because it's bad but the child sees the parent do it; the child may begin to harbor ill feelings towards the parent because he or she doesn't understand why the parent can do something but he or she cannot. If the parents continues to do this but never explains why, the child may begin to act out by doing these things such as smoking, drinking, and other harmful behaviors. So not only has the parent's hypocrisy harmed the relationship between the parent and child, but it has also harmed the child.
We can also see how hypocrisy is harming the world around us right now as well. Just recently in Dallas, TX all hell broke out when a gunman that allegedly supports the BLM movement shot and killed several police officers because he wanted to, "kill white people, especially cops". Because of the hypocrisy of focusing on one race's equality, several races are now in the process of starting a race war. This is highly harmful to our society as we know it. Instead of being hypocritical and saying that one race matters more than others, we should join together to be strong and stop the hate and hypocrisy.
Lastly, we can see how the US Government is full of hypocrisy that is not only harming the US, but the entire world! The "powers that be" have no issue with invading other countries for financial reasons (including war), invading foreign policy, and foreign trade. If another country tried to do this to the US, that country and any that joined them would have hell to pay. Another classic example of, "do as I say, not as I do".
Are We Conditioned to be Hypocrites?
Is it in our DNA? Do we choose to be hypocrites? Or are we conditioned to be hypocrites? The simple fact is, we are all hypocrites. Every single one of us. We learn from a young age how to lie, and this hypocrisy becomes a part of us.
When we are hypocritical, we are knowingly going against a moral rule for some reason or another. This could include watching gay porn while saying that homosexuality is a sin. Saying you believe in Jesus (Yeshua) while snubbing your nose at the homeless although Jesus said to feed his sheep. Or, hypocrisy could be as simple as posting negative comments on palm oil and the destruction that it brings, while sitting at your computer with a big jar of Nutella (which contains palm oil), eating it like it's going out of style!
In a way, we are conditioned to be hypocrites. We learn how to do this from a young age, and we use it to manipulate those around us; including ourselves. We know not to lie, yet we do it anyway. If we deny ourselves the truth and do not realize that we are doing these things; or even if we do these things and realize it; we will eventually fall. Look at it this way. Say you and a friend are pulling on a rubber band. The band stretches and stretches and eventually it snaps and when it does, the force of the breakage causes the rubber band to snap back and pop our hand. This "pop" hurts because of the force that was placed on the rubber band, causing it to snap and recoil. Our minds are much like this rubber band. We all have a set of morals, a worldview, a belief structure. When we go against that structure we are slowly pulling away from our reality until it is all askew. This can be seen in habitual liars. These individuals lose their reality in a web of lies until they create a bubble, so to speak, of their new reality. Then one day, someone comes along and pops the faux reality bubble and the habitual liar's world comes crashing down. The individual now needs to create an entirely new web, and before he or she realizes it; the person has lost his or herself.
Although you may have been conditioned to be this way, you can stop it. First, you need to recognize the signs of hypocrisy.
I Saw the Sign
1. "Do as I say, not as I do". This means that the individual's actions do not match their words.
2. Rules, they do not apply to the hypocrite the way they apply to others. The hypocrite is entitled to act however he or she sees fit, while looking down his or her nose at others.
"I didn't do it. It's your fault". The hypocrite always comes up with a reason for his or her lie, this typically means blaming others or the bad things that have happened in his or her life.
4. Punishment for those that point out the hypocrite's actions. If you call a hypocrite on his or her actions, he or she will find ways to "punish" you. This could include harming you emotionally and psychologically.
5. The hypocrite is always the victim. The person will use the bad things that have happened to him or her to excuse his or her behavior.
6. Hypocrites can come off as being "holier than thou". This means that the person is often patronizing and condescending. "I would never cheat", although he or she has cheated on everyone he or she has dated. (Note: this is only an example, I am not saying that all people that are hypocritical are cheaters).
7. Lies, lies, and more lies! Hypocrites will lie! This is done for a multitude of reasons as discussed above.
Note: I chose to use a reference on this portion of the article in order to give you another viewpoint on the subject. You can also find helpful information at the website listed below.
7 Signs of Hypocrites & The People They Target. Retrieved from: psychopathfree.com/articles/7-signs-of-hypocrites-the-people-they-target.300/
So, Are You a Hypocrite? I Am!
Being a hypocrite does not necessarily mean that you are purposefully harming others, or using others as an excuse for your actions.
I, am a hypocrite. I am an advocate for animal rights. I don't believe that animals should be harmed. I am an advocate for healthy living, and I don't believe in harvesting palm oil. So how am I a hypocrite? I love and protect animals to the best of my ability but I still eat them. How can love them so much and take their lives? Because I, am a hypocrite. I believe that we should not use harmful chemicals, but I wear makeup, use medications, and use harmful products to clean my home. I can easily say this is because of image issues, medical issues, and the fact that I'm a germaphobe; but when the it comes down to truth...I like makeup, I like the medications, and like the cleaning products because they do a great job. I also love Nutella even though it contains palm oil, and extracting palm oil is destroying parts of the world and killing animals. I also use a car, rubber, etc. but I am against Big Oil.
Do you see? We are all hypocrites. It might be a small thing such as mine, or it could be highly harmful. The only way to not be a hypocrite is to accept your true thoughts, actions, and beliefs and be 100% honest about them. I wish you all luck my friends, and God bless (sure, that was hypocritical...I said I didn't want to push my beliefs onto you; but I just did).