Not to be confused with the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors, nurses and other medical or healthcare professionals. In the case of medical professionals its all about practicing medicine ethically. In the case of hypocrites, its about making sure that everyone but himself practices what they preach.
For hypocrites its all about – “Do what I say, not what I’m doing.” Some people say, “Forget what I’m doing, do what I’m saying.” No matter how many variations of that phrase you come up with the message is very clear – I’m a hypocrite.
It’s not a confession it’s a statement of fact. I’m always asking people to be a certain way, condemning them when they don’t conform to my way of thinking whether its rational or irrational. I may say that I don’t judge others but I know who I am and I’m telling myself in a very strong tone that I’m a hypocrite. I’m a walking contradiction.
I tell my sons to always practice good sportsmanship and they do a very good job at it even though their dad is yelling crazy things from the sidelines at coaches (on our sideline as well as the oppositions coaches). I teach my sons to treat other people with kindness, be humble and find ways to be of service to others. I rarely show an ounce of kindness when I’m in public, I’m hardly approachable, I’m arrogant and there are many times when I complain loudly before I finally give in to do something nice for others.
I tell others that I’m annoyed by people who talk about other people, especially if they are a friend, and yet I’m one of the first in line at the character assassination party. I thumb my nose at those who lie, cheat and steal but I wonder, ‘do the same things in some way even on a very limited scale?’
Where does this all stem from? Is my hypocrisy related to some innate jealousy of another man’s wealth, power and prestige? Do I really think that by criticizing and invalidating another persons thoughts and actions I will find myself in a more elevated status when in actuality I’m just making myself look worse in everyone’s eyes? Who really likes being around a guy who finds the worst in others but can’t seem to find the mote in his own eye?
They say that, ‘we are our own worst critic,’ yet the self-defamation of the base nature of my humanity and the criticisms of my own self-importance gives me a bit of vindication rather than a feeling of depression. But how long will the remorse keep me from contradicting myself again?
The other day at a football game I turned to my neighbor in the stands and said, “That guy is a real jerk!” I wonder if someone in the stands thought the same thing about me when I jumped up and yelled something stupid just like the guy I just tagged with the ‘stupid’ label. I do these things all the time and yet I can’t stand it when other people do it.
So where does my hypocrisy end? I don’t know, but just as I told Super Mom the other day, “I’m making a commitment today to be a better human being.” Like every addict it’s going to take a long time to purge that from my being, exorcise it from my subconscious. It may be a lifelong struggle, but I know of so many people who are able to do it so why can’t I? I know I can make that change. No one wants to leave a legacy of hypocrisy. I don’t want to feign sincerity nor do I want to be remembered as a guy with two faces.
My oath is to my God, my wife, my sons, my family and anyone who would consider me a friend – in no specific order. By living a hypocrite-free life, I believe that the order doesn’t matter because you are one person to all people, all the time.
I’m a hypocrite, but I’m trying to change.