Tag Archives: integrity

Are you a hypocrite?

Let’s save some time. Of course you are; at least if you go by the strict definition of the word. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behaviour does not conform. Every one is a hypocrite in some area of their life.

What is hypocrisy?

But hypocrisy or being a hypocrite is a somewhat dramatic and extreme judgment. It’s deserved only when you continue to act contrary to your declarations and beliefs despite being aware of the inconsistency. In other words, you’re only a hypocrite when you actively, consciously, dishonor your word. Most people— I like to think— don’t do that.

Most of us don’t knowingly act without integrity, and we will try to correct our behaviour when confronted— in a nice way at least— with our hypocrisy.

This confrontation can come from anywhere, a friend, a priest, a child, a book, a spouse, even a talk show host. Trevor Noah continues this tradition on the Daily show, as does Bill Maher on Real Time. Here’s Bill on the hypocrisy of Christians who cheered at the killing of Osama Ben Laden.

Why does hypocrisy matter?

Hypocrisy matters because integrity matters, and integrity matters because it’s the measure by which we honour our commitments to others, and more importantly to ourselves. Hypocrisy, acting contrary to declarations and beliefs, is the opposite of integrity.

Hypocrisy destroys trust, obliterates meaning, and otherwise destroys our capacities to live well and work well together. Hypocrites find it very difficult to build the networks of love and support necessary to live a great life.

Hypocrisy as an opportunity

You’re not a robot and it’s normal that you will at times fail to observe the standards you set for yourself, especially when these standards are newly adopted. But assuming you are committed to honouring your word i.e. to have integrity, then being confronted with your own hypocrisy is an opportunity to evaluate, evolve, or toss your commitments, standards, and beliefs. Confronting your hypocrisy is an opportunity to identify the conflicting values and habits that have you lose integrity.

It’s ok to revoke a commitment you made to yourself, change your standards or beliefs; as long as you do so consciously, declare your new standards, beliefs and commitments; and from then on seek to measure your actions against your new revised standards.

That’s called growth.

Something worse than hypocrisy

As bad as being a hypocrite is, I think there is something worse and that is to stand for nothing, to have no values, no commitments and no purpose—to always act for expediency and how you feel.

At least the hypocrite has a means to course correct; he at least has standards and commitments he can use to restore his integrity.

The person who stands for nothing has no standard to return to, no measure by which she can assess her integrity. From a secular point-of-view, this may be what it means to have no soul.

The one person you should be in a committed relationship with

The one person you should be in a committed relationship with

When asked if he was dating anyone, a comedian said that he was in an exclusive relationship with himself. It was funny because everyone expected him to name some hot starlet, or at least someone else. What he meant was that he was way too selfish to be in a committed relationship with anyone. ButContinue Reading

Life was a losing game. So long Amy

The day the news of Amy Winehouse’s death reached me was the same day that I had decided to listen to her albums on this great new music service that allows me to listen to almost any artist I want—for free. I had known of her of course.  Fuck me pumps, Amy Amy Amy andContinue Reading

Don’t worry about pissing people off

All through my life, I grew up with people telling me not to offend anybody, and for the most part that’s how I lived my life. I of course have offended people, but unintentionally (for the most part), and regretfully (for the most part). But I notice the cost of that.  It prevented me fromContinue Reading

Call your shots—and make them!

Three ball in the side pocket.”  She leans over and stares intently along the imaginary line extending from her cue towards the white ball and on towards a tiny spot on the intermediary ball that she must hit with precision accuracy. Slowly, and deliberately, the cue slides back and forth along the bridge made byContinue Reading

What does it mean to be impeccable with your word?

Recently I was reminded about the profound simplicity of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and it’s applicability to the practice of your life became very clear to me.  Here’s my take on  his first agreement: Be Impeccable with your word Ruiz explains that the latin root of the word means ‘without sin’ andContinue Reading