Monday, June 12, 2006

Hypocrisy

People are inconsistent. We say one thing. We do another. We know what is right, but we don't always do it. We believe in one thing and do something else.

Does that make us all hypocrites? The word gets bandied around any time any one does anything that isn't entirely in keeping with something they have said at any time in their past. It is currently in the running for most over-used word.

My Webster's defines hypocrisy as, "a pretending to be what one is not, or to feel what one does not feel; especially a pretense of virtue or piety."

One should be allowed to change one's mind, to develop new beliefs about a matter and not be labelled a hypocrite when saying that the new course is the one they currently are trying to follow. For instance, a parent, who having lived out a wild youth, is not hypocritical for teaching their teenagers that drinking and sleeping around are wrong. That parent would be hypocritcal if he was still drinking and sleeping around himself, but not so if he had done so in the past and learned from his mistakes.

Too often we try to hold everyone around us to high standards of perfection. Demanding that they always be consistent and thoroughly fact check every statement and action to make sure it always adds up. To do so is ridiculous. As I said at the beginning, we're flawed. We're inconsistent. The only thing one can do is try and pray for grace when we fall short of perfection.

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