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November 3, 2016

Hypocr-aste: The Hypocrite in me Honors the Hypocrite in You.

hypocrisy

 

Hypocr-aste.

Yep, that was a Namaste reference, albeit a bit of a stretch. I couldn’t help myself, but hopefully you’ll forgive the bit of corniness and keep reading.

This election (sigh) has been bringing up a lot on hypocrisy. I see those from all perspectives declaring “hypocrisy!” as a way to make their point.

After engaging in a few discussions where hypocrisy was brought up, I started to examine my own hypocrisy. I realized, holy shit, I’m one hell of a hypocrite! My mere existence on this planet and desire to speak up for change make me a complete and total hypocrite.

Chances are you may not be safe from being labeled as a hypocrite either. We are all hypocrites in some way:

We are outraged by dishonesty (or other qualities) in a political candidate, but support candidates that are also dishonest.

We follow and preach religious and spiritual teachings and hold others accountable to those, but often do not always follow those teachings ourselves.

We say we are open-minded and complain about others being closed-minded, but we don’t try to understand the viewpoints of those we call closed-minded.

We want to help the poor, but we live in gentrified areas with hip apartment complexes and trendy coffee shops and pay little mind to lower income people who previously lived in that neighborhood and have been displaced by the gentrification.

We post cute pig videos on social media and then post a meme that says bacon is happiness.

We are outraged by the abuse of dogs and cats but turn a blind eye to the horrible treatment and killing of other animals for meat, leather and many other products and practices we all use.

We say we love animals but go to zoos and circuses where animals are taken from their homes and put in cages for our entertainment.

We go vegan to save the animals but live in houses, drive on roads and shop in stores that kill animals and their homes for the products to build them.

We fight for equal rights but we stereotype, generalize, pass judgments and often don’t treat everyone equally in our own lives. We don’t recognize the bias and prejudices we all have.

We post quotes about love, light and positivity, but curse at the driver that cuts us off in traffic.

We ask for equal and respectful treatment for women, but watch shows and listen to music that is demeaning to women.

We say we don’t condone violence but we watch football, UFC, violent movies and TV shows.

We travel to countries that discriminate, oppress and allow violence towards people for the same reasons we stand against. We buy from companies that do business in these countries.

We buy products, go to places, and are friends with people who don’t practice the ethics we preach.

We proclaim hypocrisy when we are also hypocrites.

I could go on and on. Okay, so maybe those examples don’t apply to you, but I can tell you quite a few of them apply to me. It makes me want to take a vow of silence and go live in a cave, but even then I would probably still be a hypocrite.

I’m a hypocrite, because I am human. I am flawed. It’s almost impossible to have an opinion without some level of hypocrisy.

Does that mean that I shouldn’t speak up for what I believe in or call for change? Should I completely give up and not bother trying to make a difference? Become silent? Not hold leaders, companies, and politicians accountable? Not bother to make choices and actions that can be impactful?  No. Now is not the time for silence.

There is a common theme here: Judgment.

If we allowed ourselves to let go of the judgment of ourselves and others, would anything soften? Can we hold ourselves and others accountable for their actions, not their hypocrisy, in a kind and non-judgmental way? Can we back off from proclaiming hypocrisy because we realize we are just human? Can we honor the hypocrite in ourselves, and the hypocrite in others because we realize none of us are perfect? I hope that we can, because it’s one step towards coming together and lessening the divide.

<Closes with a bow> hypocr-aste.

~

Author: Adrienne Dygert 

Image: Kristian Bjornard/Flickr

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

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