Deception can be cloaked in silky smooth motive, but behind what may sound exceptionally convincing is the desire to do just what one said they’d never do. It is in our DNA to make mistakes, but being human is not a “get out of jail free” card. Some of us are lucky to have never been confronted with hypocrisy, while others have faced it more times than we’d like to admit.
Hypocrisy is often linked to religion, or at least heavily associated with it, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. We are faced with hypocrisy everyday from how our government operators to our careers to our family and friends. Politics really seems to get our collective goat. Regardless if you are on the right, left or prefer to consider yourself somewhere in the middle, there is plenty of blame, finger pointing, and “caught in the cookie jar” scenarios for just about every political party.
Hypocrisy can feel like the biggest betrayal, one that leaves a lasting scar. Far too many church congregations endure a pastor who preaches endlessly that sex is a sin and then they end up on the news caught with a prostitute (Jimmy Swaggart). But, there are plenty other more mundane types of hypocrisy that leaves you shaking your head and saying, “I thought you said you didn’t want to do that?” It’s more than just going back on your word, it’s taking the job that you said you didn’t want because you wanted to be at home with the kids and then you end up working 50 or more hours a week. Uh…don’t tell everyone that you are continuing your education in order to work from home and care for your children then wind up doing the opposite. Some people want to say that they’re not all about money, titles, degrees, and claim that they’re not interested in competing, when really, their actions speak louder as they end up doing everything counter to their initial claims.
I used to work with numerous parents who took jobs that only made them work more, yet they claimed that they would never take a job that would interfere with their family. I have a friend that ended up losing his marriage and the kids because of his workaholic tendencies. Unfortunately, these parents weren’t always from low-income homes. Actually, I worked with more affluent, dysfunctional families then you’d ever imagine. And these types of dysfunctions are not immediately visible; they creep up much later when children grow up and start hitting the teen years. If we don’t have our word, then what good are we? Without trust, honor, and being a person of your word then you are just someone who spouts off nonsense. You’re a hypocrite that cannot be trusted because you say one thing and you do an entirely different thing.
Anyone who has ever gone through a divorce will be the first to give you some good stories on hypocrisy. Imagine you’re married to someone who says they don’t care about money and then during the divorce they wipe you clean, taking you for everything. Or the number one thing you’ve always disagreed about, which is where the two of you will live and the other person says they hate California. They claim to be so upright and would never ever break the sacred vows of marriage, then they’re caught being unfaithful. To add insult to injury they even move to California! The place they said they hated and would never move to, the place you always argued about because it was home to you while it wasn’t for them?! WTF?!?!
I believe in KARMA. I believe that people who go out of their way to be deceptive will end up paying later. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to be a hypocrite. Subconsciously or consciously if you announce one thing and do everything you said you would never do, you’ve lost your integrity. Period.
The moral of the story: Do what you say you’re going to do. Stick to your word. Don’t say you’re “thinking of the kids” which is why you’re taking postgraduate degree courses, when you really want a fancy job title and the money that comes with it! You’re thinking about YOURSELF and how good you’ll feel with those initials after your name. It’s not about the kids; it’s about boosting your own EGO and SELF WORTH. If it was about the kids, then people would actually put the kids first and thus, their career would reflect flexibility in order to maximize family time.
If you’re a workaholic and a career person and it’s about boosting your career. Just say that. Tell the truth. Admit that you want an ego boosting career with ego boosting money. Just be HONEST about it. Stop lying to yourself and to those around you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting money and your confidence lifted. So, there is no need to be deceptive about it. Because, every motive eventually gets revealed. Why try to hide behind a cloak of false humility and throw your kids in there too, when it’s not about what’s best for them.
Karma always comes back to haunt you, revealing that every cause has an equal effect, especially when being hypocritical. If you break your marriage vows and begin another relationship with dishonor maybe you’ll live happily ever after, but it is my belief that you can’t outrun karma. I am not a religious person however I am spiritual to a degree and mostly believe in a general universal law. The universal rule is to treat others how you’d want to be treated. Ask yourself one thing: Would you trust a HYPOCRITE or someone with INTEGRITY? Treat others how you would want to be treated. If you’re going to “talk the talk,” then you need to “walk the walk.” Especially if you are going to announce it to everyone. And if you’re not going to do what you say you’re going to do, then shut up about it.
Have some self respect and honor your word, because that’s all you got.
One thought on “Overcoming Hypocrisy”
September 6, 2014 at 7:41 PM
Your article really got me thinking and reflecting a lot. Hypocrisy has always been my number #1 pet peeve and yet at the same time, it’s not always easy finding your way and being your authentic self when the people in your life and society in general seem to pull you in different directions. You’ve opened my eyes to the shades of gray in between from self-deception to the soul-shattering hypocrisy in the examples you have given. As humans we feel more trusting in others who are consistent, reliable and true to their word. I’m with you on karma! I also like to think that those who deceive hurt themselves most because they will not feel real trust in others and others will not trust them and like you say, they’ve lost the most important thing any of us has in the end, and that’s integrity.