Just about everyone has heard the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.” We gripe about the hypocrisy of others on our facebook statuses, our political conversations, even children complain about the hypocrisy of their parents. It seems there is no escaping mankind’s falible nature of inconsistency.
Hypocrisy happens when what we say doesn’t match what we do. When we send mixed messages we paint an inconsistent portrait of ourselves and our values to the world. When we demand and judge one thing from others yet do not hold ourselves to the same standards we make ourselves out as hypocrites.
Hypocrisy is a weed that breeds distrust, bitterness, and future pain. Having a vision of excellence for ourselves through which we speak our ideas and demands requires us to have the courage to face the truth of our hypocrisy and make our wrongs right, thereby cutting off and killing the weed of hypocrisy.
It’s not easy to admit our wrongdoings and our failures to live up to our word, yet we must press on with the goal of creating balance with our inner world of ideas and beliefs with the outside world of daily life.
1. The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. – Andre Gide, August 1921, tr. Justin O’brien, 1951
2. It always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me – to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good as right to freedom as we have. – Abigail Adams. On slavery and the struggle for American independence from England, letter to her husband John, 24 September 1774
3. The hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness against himself. – Hannah Arendt. On Revolution, 2.5, 1963
4. They play one tune and dance [to] another. – John Clarke. Comp., Proverbs: English and Latine, p.138, 1639
5. Plain dealing is praised more than practiced. – John Clarke. Comp., Proverbs: English and Latine, p.138, 1639
6. Mankind are very odd Creatures: One Half censure what they practice, the other half practice what they censure; the rest always say and do as they ought. – Benjamin Franklin. Poor Richard’s Almanack, June 1752
7. He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent the pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safer for children to grow up in. – Ursela K. Le Guin. The Lathe of Heaven, 6, 1971
8. There should be no disagreement between our lives and our doctrines. – Publius Syrus. Moral Sayings, 635. tr. Darius Lyman, Jr. 1862
9. You talk one way, you live another. – Seneca The Younger. “On the Happy Life” (18.1), Moral Essays, tr. John W. Basore, 1932
10. Prohibit not something to others which you permit to yourself. TALMUD (A.D. 1st-6th cent.). Rabbinical writings
Source: “Quotationary”. Leonard Roy Frank. Random House Webster’s. 2001