Wednesday, August 11, 2010

thoughts on hypocrisy

I often call myself a hypocrite. Perhaps that's the wrong word to use.

A hypocrite is a fraud, a phony. Someone who pretends to be one way but secretly is not. Someone who professes to believe one thing but whose actions prove differently. A hypocrite is technically someone who knowingly deceives others.

So perhaps "accidental" hypocrisy is self-deception rather than the deception of others. Convincing yourself that you always live by a certain set of standards when in reality you don't always adhere to them.

I'm certainly not deceitful to others. I don't "pretend" to be a certain way. More accurately, I think at times I base my advice and criticism on how I think I live my life, only to find myself time and again going against my own advice, often unknowingly.

What would you call that? Accidental hypocrisy? Self-deception? Clueless of my own weaknesses and flaws? Human?

As we get ready to ship Richard off to the MTC, I can't help but look back on the time he has been here and think of everything I have learned (in other words, everything I did wrong). All the times I gave him a hard time for doing or not doing something, only to find myself making the same mistakes the next week. Have I "fixed" all the things I learned about myself? Surely not. If I have learned anything, it is that I have a lot more that I need to fix.

Do I beat myself up over the mistakes I have made and the "hypocrisy" I have discovered in myself? No. I don't think beating yourself up is very productive. I just try to be more conscious of the things I recognize.

This extends into all areas of my life, especially marriage. Complaining about something Christian did only to find myself acting the same way soon after. It is amazing how much Christian and I have learned about each other in the 7 years we've been together. I am eternally grateful for how well we communicate with each other. Sure, we still have a lot to work on, but for the most part we are good communicators. This makes it easier for me to recognize when I'm being a "hypocrite." It makes it easier for me to come forward and admit my flaws (of which I have many).

Perhaps in all this I should be more tolerant of other people's "accidental hypocrisy."

On that note, it's time for bed. Zzzzzzzz...


Ryan said...

Molly Carter Aufdermauer. You are the last person on this planet who I would accuse of being a hypocrite. You are probably the most genuine person I know.

So shut up already.

Molly said...

Ryan Meredith Shattuck. Thanks. I'm glad you think I'm perfect. I like you. (But I still commit the occasional hypocrisy. It's true.)

Shutting up already.

LJ, DC and ML said...

I agree with Ryan. Making a mistake (of which I have no personal experience with your "mistakes") is not being a hypocrite. That's a whole different animal.
And seriously, has it really be seven years?! Already?!

LJ, DC and ML said...

PS. You rock.

Amy Carter said...

i'd call it 'parenting'! teach your kids the best, even though you know you're not perfect yourself. nothing to feel guilty for.
of course, it doesn't count as parenting if it's with christian.

Julianne said...

It's just so much easier to fix other people's problems than to fix our own.

If we figured out how to take our own advice, we'd be set. Unfortunately... that's hard.

Dr. aafb said...

Sam and I allow each other to have a few of what we call "double standards". For example, I don't like it when Sam goes to bed before me but I have no problem going to bed anytime I'm tired. This way we cut each other some slack and say it is ok to be a hypocrite every now and then. I mean, Sam doesn't really care if I just go ahead and go to bed with out him:)