Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

  Hypocrisy runs deep, partly because so many people don't realize they're doing it. We say so many things throughout the day, the week, the years, and it's difficult to keep track of everything we say. In the heat of the moment, especially if we're having an argument or debate with someone, we can say things that we don't mean, that we wouldn't say under normal circumstances. It isn't until later that we realize what we said was contradictory to a belief we held prior.
    Unfortunately, not everybody has this realization. Some people go on contradicting themselves, not realizing they're losing people's confidence in them. These are the true hypocrites--the ones who pay so little attention to what they say or how their words and actions may appear to others that they never realize that they are defeating the very image of themselves they are trying to project.
    In spite of myself, I catch my own hypocrisy from time to time. In trying to win an argument, I sometimes end up changing my mind from the beginning to the end. It's not a conscious choice, or manipulation, but rather ignorance. Ignorance about the issues to the point that I am not allied to one side of things more than the other and I trip over my words.
    Hypocrisy stems from ignorance. We say we agree with one thing, but it's more for the principle of the issue than because we have examined it and honestly hold it to be true. In cases like this, ambivalence, or agnosticism (I mean this in a broad sense), is a better option than risking hypocrisy by allying oneself to side of an issue and then going back on your half-hearted belief.
    The best option is always to examine things. Discuss them, learn about them, get a good grasp on the issue before you automatically say I agree or I disagree. Then, when confronted with it, in an argument or just in your daily life, you can see more clearly the choices you make, the words you choose. You won't have to try so hard to argue your point, because you will know the facts and details of your beliefs so well that you can explain them to anyone.
    I've said it before, I'll say it again: An unexamined life is not worth living. Don't let yourself wander into hypocrisy merely because you have not taken the time to consider the matter thoroughly enough.
Reserve the right to change your mind--just not too often.

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