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Own your hypocrisy

I talked about hypocrisy yesterday and I want to share that almost everything in life is hypocrisy.

People like to say they believe in something but the truth is that often years later they change their mind about something they were so confident they believed. They call themselves meaningless names like pro-choice or pro-life, when life isn’t black and white. People love to feel superior to others by defining their understanding as superior to others. They must question the intelligence of the other group that believes differently than them, because they couldn’t be wrong could they?

Let me give you some examples. We talk about how the US has “freedom”. Yet we just took away the right for women in Texas to get abortions. We talk about how individual rights are part of the constitution yet we seek to limit those rights when certain segments of the population don’t like others individual choices. This is not about religion or if it should play a role in politics. It is deeper than that. This is about when we say one thing and our actions do another. How can we expect to convince others of the “truth” of our statement when we don’t act in a way that is consistent with the values we have?

Another example. We say that we are free to make choices, yet we act like others for the most part. Few people do things that are against what social norms are, and those who do we reject them. This country that was founded on the rejects of other societies fails to accept and embrace what makes us unique. It is the contribution of everyone that has given us and the world the prosperity that we have grown to see as normal. Every time we divide ourselves, we lose the ability to have those conversations that heal, grow and lead to greater progress as a society.

If we are honest most of the time we talk we can think of examples where we believe and have acted in a way 100% differently than we believe now. This hypocrisy shows us that we are growing, but we also have to accept what we have done. We want to have the benefits of our adaptive worldview, without the realization of our own contribution against it. For example, the Boy Scouts not allowing queer scout leaders. People accusing queer people of child abuse. Then the Boy Scouts covering up the child molestation that was happening for years. You can’t ignore the history of events. When you don’t acknowledge that, you distort the reality of millions of people.

Every-time I talk I am aware that what I say is different than what I sincerely used to believe. I have grown and hopefully have become a wiser and kinder man. Yet I will be the first to say I am a hypocrite. So when we talk with others let’s remember our own growth and change and focus on growing rather than trying to win an argument.