Peeling Away the Fabrication
Paul went to visit his mother in the hospital. He disliked her intensely and could list all her faults. However, he had to go, so went.
When his mother went to embrace him, he pulled back saying that she 'stank of cigarettes'.
Paul's mother didn't say anything at that moment. She let Paul leave.
Then she had her Epiphany.
She had been in the hospital for over two weeks. Had been bathed a number of times, was wearing the usual hospital garb. She had neither smoked nor been near a cigarette since her accident.
Paul invented this 'stink of cigarette' reason because he intensely despised his mother and didn't want to touch her.
It was at this moment Paul's mother realised not merely Paul's true feelings but his bone deep dishonesty.
She realised that he had always despised her, and re-evaluated their relationship.
She told a friend about Paul's reaction and he, being one of those jokers, got a bunch of white pencils which he kept in a box in his top pocket.
When he got into an elevator, various people, thinking the box was a pack of cigarettes, and seeing the white edges, would make those false coughs and say 'cigarettes effect me'.
At that point he would extract a pencil, and write 'You are an Idiot" on a piece of paper and hold it up.
He got a lot of fun out of doing it, and told everyone, which led to a dialectic on the dishonesty of people.
Going North to Go South
Weak people who do not have the courage or basic honesty to admit how they feel about someone or something, often resort to simple prejudices.
Smoking is easy to use as a reason why.
Others will blame a race or religion for their failures, finding an acceptable scapegoat for their lack.
Powerless people lash out using 'acceptable' prejudices.
One can blame a religion for all the violence/terrorism, blame an ethnicity for all the crime, blame anyone 'not me'.
Uneducated or unsuccessful whites will claim it is the fault of non-whites why they are failures. That they aren't very bright, that they didn't do well in school, is the fault of non-whites. That they didn't qualify for a job because they didn't have the necessary training will be buried. It is the fault of non-whites why.
It is easy to blame minorities. It gets a lot of support from other failures. Blame the minority. Ignore your imperfections, and failings.
Instead of investigating why people take drugs, so as to implement a policy to stop use, it is easy to blame those south of America's border for the drug problem.
Of course, this didn't work with the Opioid crisis as those drugs didn't come from South of the Border but the corner pharmacy.
Never confronting the real issue as it requires self examination is how weak people invent their reasons and constantly fertilize them.
Examine who says what and why
When given some excuse or explanation, if one simply considered it, turning it around, trying to understand why and what and how, many deceptions would fail.
Paul, intent on his rejection of his mother, comfortable in his manufactured excuse, felt in control. He could not embrace his mother because she 'stank of cigarettes.'
It never occurred to him that she couldn't have smoked in the hospital. He had used her smoking as his core reason for rejection and would never let it go.
There are those who will slap away your ideas based on some 'reason' which doesn't exist.
You might be at a meeting, offer an idea which is slapped away. A few moments later someone else puts forward your idea which is accepted.
A person might be thought Muslim and treated with abhorrence despite the fact they are Christian. The designations are to give an 'acceptable' excuse why one treats them badly.
The truth is simply that those who make the attributions don't like them. There is no reason to deny them the promotion or the selection, save the person making the decision doesn't like them.
Using the 'acceptable' categorization allows the dismissal.
Recognising your prejudices, your dislikes, and finding out why you feel this way would be of great benefit. But it is easier to be like Paul.