Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as “feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.”
It is socially agreed upon that a hypocrite person is anyone who pretends to be something/one they’re not. When you walk past a woman, who has obviously had a couple of plastic surgeries, this word comes across your mind. When you’re with a group of friends and one of them is talking about her bungalow in Faraya and her Chalet in the South (even though you grew up in the same village) you think to yourself “what a hypocrite”. When your roommate comes back each night with 3 shopping bags, even though you know her parents are abroad forbidden to come back to these territories, you roll your eyes as she turns her back…
Yes we face hypocrisy in each and every day of our lives. We come across it and feel proud that we recognize it and solemnly say to whoever wants to listen that “I can deal with all kinds of people, except hypocrites.”
Ah, but then comes the dilemma…
When your mother has herself a face lift, because it’s one of her horrors to be getting old and she wants to enjoy her youth as much as possible, that’s not hypocrisy. When you feign to be spending your summer at your beach house, in order to blend in with the social bourgeois you so desperately want to hang out with, that’s not hypocrisy. When you go buy yourself a gorgeous 200$ dress, even though you know your father is going through hell to put you through college, so you could attend your university gala, that’s not hypocrisy…
So which one is it… are all human hypocrite, or are they not?
The little loophole exists, but it is not to help you cover your actions, or to give excuses to people to act out beyond their character.
However, people must keep in mind that everything in this life is relative. Nothing is ever objective and general in this life. Variables change all the time and therefore all that is linked to them.
Before judging a person for who they seem to be, we must try to put ourselves in their shoes. Ask ourselves “why are they acting this way?”, “why does she feel the need to put on that mask around me?”, “why can’t she just be herself around them?”
Don’t get me wrong; as I said before, this has not a purpose of giving a person an alibi for their actions. But when you start understanding the reasons behind a person’s actions, a certain energy flow will go through both of you. Consequently, he/she will feel more comfortable in this safe/open/honest conversation and will lower their guards.
You see it’s not in a human’s nature to be hypocrite. Sure it exists. But it doesn’t come as an instinct. However, one of the most basic human impulses is self protection and preservation. Subsequently, when a person feels threatened in their society, such as their college or wok place – maybe even their family – they will lift the wall and put on the mask for two reasons:
1- To blend in with the masses
2- To limit the access to the vulnerable, honest and real aspect of their humanity
It is alright to want to protect yourself. However, keep in mind, that every day is a struggle for everyone: the hardship of blending in, the need to rise up on the social scale, the protection of one’s entity… but you have to try and be open to the various reasons why each person has the defense mechanism armor up.
On the other hand, you have to also allow yourself to let your guards down when you see a window of understanding or feel that energy flow with a person. It’s all a matter of give and take.
So next time you walk past that 40-something woman with a perfectly lifted face, think to yourself “that’s pretty courageous of her”. When you hear your friend showing off about the properties she doesn’t have, let her know that at least when it comes down to you she could be herself completely. And when your roommate walks in with Bvlgari and Longchamps bags smile at her and let her know how she is a wonderful person with or without those brands.