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Why do people hold others to ideals that they themselves don't hold themselves to?
This question is in response to a discussion in comments to a hub. We all live by ideals, some Biblical in nature, others not. Why is it that people hold others, such as myself, to a set of ideals that they are happy to acknowledge that they may not completely follow themselves? For example, the initial comments were in regards to homosexuality, where I and people like me should be held to an ideal/tenet in the Bible, yet those stating this acknowledge that they do not live to all the ideals in the Bible. BUT this question is about the idea in general NOT about homosexuality. Thanks!
I think hypocrisy, which is what you are describing, is natural to people. Everyone falls short of his ideals in some way, some glaringly so. The best policy is the old live and let live maxim, which is to say everyone should take the plank out of his eye before trying to remove the mote from someone else's. Each of us should do his best to live by his own beliefs and leave others to theirs, respecting their right to do as they think they should in their own lives, provided they refrain from crossing the line from speech to acts of violence.
Attikos hit the nail on the head and the not so funny thing is that it's human nature to be a hypocrite in some area whether it is a glaring, huge flaw easily seen by others or something more subtle.
Where I notice that behavior is with some parents and their children. Some parents expect their children to live up to behavior standards that the parents, themselves, don't and never will. Why they do it is, I think, a complicated psychological matter that involves control and/or wanting to feel superior (or something). Then, too, maybe some parents fear that their child will turn out like they are. All I know is that although many people do that, many more wouldn't. Someone once told me (and I've often had to keep my reminded myself) that there's no point looking for reason in what is not reasonable or well reasoned.
The cop out is that there is no easy answer. The answer is not easy and I am not sure any one can answer it in a fully satisfactory way. I think the issue is that many people think they are meeting the standards they set for others or they have the belief that because of some issue in their life, be in a bad marriage, financial trouble, problems in childhood, issues at work, etc., they get a free pass. They get to judge without being judge. It boils down to a matter of ego, with some people thinking they are better than others, despite the number of shortcomings they may possess. Others just do not know how to deal with something they understand and therefore raise the bar for those people to meet. It is not fair, it is not justified. Unfortunately, it is just part, a sad part, of the human condition.
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