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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, June 24

Hypocrisy

The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.*

I was going to write something about hypocrisy of people being unfairly criticized. I think a person can loudly and even passionately encourage others to doing something he believes is right without having the knowledge and will to do it himself. (I hate the male pronoun thing, but I dislike having to use plural when singular is actually what sounds better). I know I certainly have trouble living up to my ideals, but I don't think I need to be perfect to encourage others to be better people. Then again, due to a lack of experience with actual moral success, a hypocrit might not be a good person to look to for advice about moral direction. It might be better to find a successful person and try to learn from them about their goodness. The problem with this strategy is that the successful person may have not encountered the same obstacles you have and actually have less knowledge of how to overcome them than a "hypocrit". A hypocrit might also be better able to point out what NOT to do.

I think the one kind of hypocrit that bothers me is the one who appears to be so lacking in self awareness that he isn't even aware of his hypocrisy and at the same time relishes in criticizing those who lack the same moral qualities.

I have a few ideas as to why a person might behave in this way. He might have some slight awareness of his own flaws and yet refuse to acknowledge them. He might then find those moral failings particularly painful to witness because they remind him of his own failing and make it harder for him to protect his self image. He might be well aware of his flaws personally and be working very hard to improve on them, but not feel comfortable dislosing them to others. Then again, he could actually be totally lacking in self awareness. I find this hard to fathom but if I were to judge by the appearances of many people, I'd have to believe it.

*The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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