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1.24.2012

Hypocrite? Yes, I am

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In this time of angry politicos and their accusations, flip-flops and vitriol, one hears the word "hypocrite" bandied about like a mantra. A candidate who stands for "family values" but practices public infidelity? Hypocrite! Or one who rails against abortion, but whose wife decided to abort her own pregnancy? Hypocrite! But is that really true?

I was having a discussion about this word with a good friend. She said she was feeling like a hypocrite because she was doing something in her life that she had previously judged others on. And my response: So what? Yes, the above examples of hypocrisy are pretty damning. But I don't have a problem with my friend's action. She's not out robbing a bank or selling drugs to small children - she's found that a situation, which she had questioned in the context of a friend's experience, was surprisingly working for her. So does that make her a hypocrite? I'm not sure. But is she wrong to do it? No way.

So many people today value the idea that a person "sticks to their guns," "holds tough," and "never sways." Well yeah, that's all well and good but it all depends on on what that value is. Do I respect someone who holds fast to their knowledge of themselves, and refuses to bow to the pressures to become something they are not? Of course. But I also respect the person who has beliefs and convictions but is willing to reexamine and even change them when the world presents a better alternative. The ability to stretch your mind to include multiple truths, or the fact that different things are "right" at different times, is pretty powerful.

Yes, I hate when other people sing in the car,  but love to sing loud and proud in my car. I told friends to shoot me if I ever became a housewife, but now I see how it could be an interesting option. And I was certain I'd never get married and now, well, that's definitely on the to-do list. So if that makes me a hypocrite, then, well, I own it. The world would be a better place if people, and most certainly politicians, could acknowledge that values and ideals do not apply the same way to every situation. And the ability to change your mind is actually a very good thing (especially when you've been wrong!) ;)

3 comments:

  1. Very nice post. I completely agree. Before I had kids I was very judgmental about how others were raising/disciplining/potty training, etc. their children. Now I have kids and I am a hypocrit! :)

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    Replies
    1. And I can't spell hypocrite.

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  2. Thanks, Selah! Yes, I can only imagine the mind changes I'll make when I have a family. I always try to remember that when I judge the parents of crying babies at restaurants -- though it doesn't always work!
    Thanks for reading :)

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