I’ve always held the notion, as many others have, that everyone’s a hypocrite. That in this humanly world there does not exist, a single person, who consistently acts in agreement with their supposed beliefs and/or feelings.
There are also not many people, if any, that keep the same beliefs and feelings about anything as they progress through this life here on earth. In fact, most people change drastically in the span of a few years on a wide variety of topics. The more a person is willing to read, study, and consider things or be open minded, the faster these values will change.
The ability to adapt and change is one of the strongest traits of humans. If we were unable to change the way we feel or the beliefs we have; then the world would still be flat, spartan children would still be tossed off a cliff if they had signs of weakness or birth defects, there would still be slaves, and we’d all still be making sacrifices to the rain god(s) during droughts.
The question really is: “What’s wrong with being a hypocrite?”
Rather, why do people dismiss the entire beliefs and feelings of other people on the basis that they are a hypocrite? Is this a defense mechanism similar to having faith in religion? Does it allow people to just stop thinking about what they are being asked to consider?
“Oh, ignore him, he’s just a hypocrite.”
People honestly feel that if your actions or words are not consistent with what you state you feel and believe that they can openly dismiss any argument, any wisdom, or any education that could bestowed upon them. But if being a hypocrite is enough for such a dismissal, then we would not be able to learn, grow, or listen to anyone because everyone is literally a hypocrite.
Think about it. Priests that sin, doctors that smoke, police officers that speed, nutritionists that are fat, financial advisers that are broke and live paycheck to paycheck, the list goes on and on.
Are these examples enough to call these people hypocrites and dismiss everything they know? Of course not, that would be ridiculous notion wouldn’t it? So why does this happen on a social level, perhaps with people who aren’t professionals?
Maybe you have a friend you play baseball with and he tells you not to drop your back shoulder when you swing and then when he goes and bats he drops his back shoulder? Dismiss what he said?
A friend that says you should go to the gym 3x a week, no excuses, and then has an excuse not to go himself, was his advice bad now that he’s a hypocrite? Of course not, we all know exercise is very important.
How about the friend that is a “health nut” and tells you what you should and shouldn’t eat and then you find him one day eating at McDonald’s, dismiss everything he told you? Of course not.
The reality is, whether or not someone is a hypocrite (we all are at some point anyways), should have essentially nothing to do with whether or not the information you received from them is valid or invalid, but rather, you should still take the time to do your own research, form your own opinion, and go from there. You owe it to yourself. Don’t be an idiot and dismiss people for being hypocrites. As I sit here and tell you not to dismiss people for being hypocrites, I’m sure at some point in the future I will do precisely that and dismiss someone for being a hypocrite.
I’m going to help you out here because the reality is you’re not going to want to consider everything everyone says. Think of being a hypocrite as being on a sliding scale. You have 0 on the left and 100 on the right and in between those two lines is the percentage where everyone falls into as far as being a hypocrite goes. If you’re a 0, you’re never a hypocrite and if you’re a 100 then you’re always a hypocrite. What you need to and should determine is where on the scale the person you’re talking to or communicating with falls before you decide to up and dismiss them.
Generally speaking, if someone is > 50% of a hypocrite on what they are communicating to you are about, just drop them. If they don’t believe in what they say enough, that they go against what they say more than half the time, then there beliefs and feelings aren’t working for them, so why should they work for you?
If you’ve got that friend who you caught at McDonald’s that one time but you know they only go a few times a year and are probably only a 3-5% hypocrite, then don’t dismiss them so easily, there is more merit to what someone tells you when they actually do it themselves pretty consistently. Those are the people with information, beliefs, and values you may want to consider. This doesn’t mean they are right or that you’ll agree, but it might be worth considering what they are saying is all I am telling you.
Whatever you do, don’t just dismiss them on the basis that they are a hypocrite without determining how much of a hypocrite they are, because then you’d just be a big idiot. If you’re already dismissing people on this basis you might be hopeless already but I am willing to try. You can stay an ignorant idiot if you’d like for life, but you’re no better than the people you are dismissing, because it isn’t feasible for anyone to be consistently harmonious with the same beliefs and feelings throughout their entire life.
Remember, people aren’t born monks, and not everyone starts out as a priest. People take different paths their entire life and it’s these paths that allows them to transcend. Oftentimes these paths are polar opposite, IE, a criminal becomes a police officer, a high school dropout becomes a teacher, and many more examples. These people are hypocrites, but it was hypocrisy that led them to where they are today, and hopefully, they are in a better place and better off than they were.
You don’t have to be better than anyone else ever, but you should always strive to be better than you were yesterday.