Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy:  "The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense." 

Hypocrite:  "A person who indulges in hypocrisy."

As I noted yesterday, someone intimated that I was a hypocrite because I encourage people not to use single-use plastics but still drive a car and live on the grid.  (Which is NOT hypocritical, by the way.  I'd LOVE to live off the grid without a car, but in our societal structure, it is not practical - I'm not going to say that it CAN'T be done, but in Central Alberta, it would be really difficult and prohibitively expensive).

There is NOTHING that gets my back up more than being called a hypocrite.  I'm not sure why, but it might have something to do with an ingrained integrity that my parents instilled.  To me integrity is terribly important.  And being honest is one of the things I strive for - with myself first, and with everyone else second.  It's far harder to be honest with myself.

As an historic researcher and writer, it is vital to have all ones facts verified and in place - to have historic integrity.  As a mother it is important to show my son what is right and wrong and not just tell him - to have personal integrity.  As a human being, I think it is important to have integrity to be an example to others.  As I've mentioned, I'm not perfect.  But I'll probably notice my slips before anyone else does.  And I'll admit to them.

So why does it bother me to be called a hypocrite?  Well, if I'm being one, it wouldn't bother me as much (I don't think - honestly, at this moment in time I can't recall being called a hypocrite when I felt I was being one).  I'd be surprised, and possibly pissed to start with, but if someone pointed it out and it was true, then I'd likely try not to do that anymore - either change my ways, or change my preaching.  But when I'm really trying hard NOT to be hypocritical and I don't feel that I am being that way, then my emotions come in feeling hurt.

So why would someone call another person a hypocrite when that person is not being one?  The person in question, I am SURE did not think that was what he was doing, though - but it felt like it and started this rant.  So even if this person wasn't doing that, why would someone else?  And I have seen it before.  Because of their own feelings of failare and guilt, I suspect.  If you aren't living the way you really think you should, then you would lash out at those who are, right?  Instead of lashing out at the person who really should get the anger ... which is you.  Now, I'm not saying this is the only reason for a person to lash out (or that it's the reason behind what spurred this introspective rant), but it's the one that makes sense to me. 

I've mentioned it before - "enviroguilt".  (I take credit for the coining of that new word).  The guilt that people feel when they are not doing what they feel they should to help the environment.  I personally feel it all of the time and it is what motivates me to do more.  But I really don't want other peoples enviroguilt thown back at me.  That's not what I'm here for.  I just share stuff on Facebook and in my blog.  If you don't like what I share, you are free to stop reading - but don't lash out at me.  I'm just trying my best.


P.S.:  As a person who suffers with anxiety and depression, someone lashing out unfairly might hurt me a little more than it would for other people.  When I'm in a bad space, which I was yesterday (and possibly still am right now), little comments can feel like daggers.  That's not to say that anyone should change what they do or say on my account.  Just understand that if I seem to over-react, there might be a reason.  And I don't feel this post or yesterdays were over-reaction.  I'm actually quite happy to have been bothered by a comment and then explored why it bothered me.  That's where I see personal growth happening.  So there are certainly NO hard feelings on my side.

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