Hypocrisy [Sunday, Mar. 06, 2005, 2:17 pm]
Sometimes I (like many others I'm sure) enjoy reading about the Pharisees in Biblical times and just looking down on them for being so hypocritical. In fact, for most Christians, Pharisees are the first people they think of when they hear the word "hypocrite."
But in reality we're all hypocrites, aren't we? When we look at other people, we instinctively judge them by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.
You know how, when you finish up a roll of toilet paper (or paper towels) you end up with a cardboard tube, which then gets thrown away? (or if you're in my family, given to a little brother to beat on his siblings with).
Sometimes I like to picture us all going around with a pair of those cardboard tubes attached in front of our eyes. If we did, we would have no peripheral vision whatsoever. We would only see what was directly in front of us, and only focus on what we wanted to see. And we'd only see what other people did, rather than what we ourselves did.
So when we call others hypocrites, we're really being self-righteous, because in a way we're all hypocrites. The problem comes in when we figure out (or are told) that we're being hypocritical, and choose to ignore it. That's really the only kind of hypocrisy that I can't stand. It's one thing to be ignorant of certain things or people, because there's no way to be conscious of everything. But being "willingly ignorant" is a totally different deal.
I remember hearing a public speaker who referred to scoffers as being "willingly ignorant" of the truth. "That's like being stupid on purpose," he said. I laugh every time I hear that. Sometimes people just prefer to be stupid on purpose, because it's easier for them. And when I say "people," I'm definitely referring to myself as well.
And yes, there is a point to this organized jumble of thoughts. I'm a hypocrite. I try not to be, in the sense that I make an effort to stay away from behavior that I know is wrong. But still, I judge others for lacking the same sense of self-control that I myself lack. And I am often quick to discreetly insult others even though I know I would be offended if I were insulted in the same way by them.
I just want to say that I'm sorry. Hopefully most of you have no reason to see anything I've said in the past as insulting. But for those who have, I'm sorry. I would never apologize for anything I believe, but I'm going to try to be more factual and logical in my defense of it, rather than insulting. I don't think there's anything wrong with insulting in jest (in other words, the kind that Groucho does), as long it's clear that it's a joke. But when talking about more serious matters, I'll try to keep my sarcasm under wraps, because it really is unnecessary most of the time. I can always write funny pieces if I want to be sarcastic.
Now watch me forget this a week later and become a big fat hypocrite again. But really, let me know if I'm being too insensitive. If I really believe in something, I should be able to present it and defend it without being mean to others.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009