Never Make Yourself The Exception

There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy; hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.
Frederick William Robertson
Social media is an interesting thing, as it allows anyone to cast on themselves whatever image they wish. It’s like participating in a masquerade ball at a global scale where perception is more important than truth, where portraying an awesome life is more important than having one. On the opposite side of the same coin, online anonymity allows us to cart-blanc to wallow in our most base reactionary comments and actions. It allows us to judge others while at the same time excusing our own sins. And thus, online communities become at its core the land of the hypocrite.

This needs to change.

A long time ago I was told a simple truth. “Respect is what you offer others but honor is what you keep with yourself.” That’s a poetic way of saying that the only way you can talk the talk is if you walk the walk. Yet today we often love to make judgement calls on everyone, but when our own behavior is in question, we are quick to find some kind of moral justification, some excuse to why OUR behavior isn’t incorrect while if the same thing is done by another, THEY are wrong. All too often, the most judgmental among us, when caught committing the same sins they condemn, will easily excuse their behavior as they play dumb about their actions, will blame it on being human, or find some other morally ambiguous excuse.

Honestly? Being human IS an excuse to laps in moral judgement. In truth, it’s the only real excuse for it. But parading on the high ground while constantly lapsing in your own actions basically turns you into a hypocrite. And there is no greater sin than being a hypocrite.

And that’s where it bothers me. I tend to gravitate to like-minded individuals, people who hold themselves up to standards usually above those necessary in today’s society. Even if I don’t agree with you, if you are honest about yourself, I can respect you as a person. Yet so often I have found myself butting heads with those who call themselves moral people, yet after you strip away their labels and masks, are far worse than those they condemn. Their ACT of superiority is done by putting others down simply to hide their own flawed nature.

This behavior is unacceptable and inexcusable. People who act this way aren’t just lying about who they are, but are willing to hurt others to keep up this lie. Sure, they might act that way due to a personal need for approval or to compensate for insecurities, but honestly, hurting someone else because you are hurt isn’t acceptable. If anything, it’s the most dangerous form of selfishness and these people receive no sympathy from me.

You don’t need to be liked by everyone. That’s ok. You don’t even need to be morally correct always. We are human after all. What we do need is to respect others and honor who we are. What we need is an open honesty about who we are and stop making excuses for ourselves. I’ll gladly take an enemy I can respect over a friend I can’t any day.

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