Definition of Hypocrite;
‘A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”
I have been nonexistent here for over a month … but not on social media. It has been perhaps the most challenging period for me since I began sharing my written thoughts with you eighteen months ago.
Like so many of us, the American election, for Americans and non-Americans alike and its excruciating aftermath, has consumed me, infuriated me, emboldened me, depressed me, “created” acrimony amongst friends/acquaintances/relatives/strangers and has left me with an omnipresent feeling of guilt.
These are not the mindsets I want to hold as I wholeheartedly believe in my “new view of the world”, as one friend recently pointed out to me in deriding fashion, however, he is correct – in a manner of speaking. Fortunately, I recently caught myself spiralling into a trough of vacillating bitterness with my cousin on the other side of the pond and on the other side of an issue. We both stood down and pursued love and respect – which I know we both have for one another. But it was work! Should it be?
If you haven’t yet followed me on Instagram – I hope you will. And if you have not hitherto embraced Instagram I encourage you to do so. On that platform, dissimilar from Facebook, Twitter or to any number of morose pundits one may subscribe, I for one have been able to perfectly insulate myself and escape from divisive politics, rancour, or any debate and instead, have been successful in submerging myself into and/or posting only “good vibe images” of love, peace, universal friendship and the power to change ones life through resolute personal choice.
My dilemma and guilt is found between what I have been sucked into on Twitter and Facebook (my choice entirely – my bad) and the dichotomy of my Instagram activity. In a nutshell – I felt my varied actions to be hypocritical.
Do you agree? Or have you similar personal misgivings about your own inconsistent actions and thoughts? We all strive to be the best we can be within the current boundaries of our imperfect amalgamation of knowledge we have acquired thus far. Is it fair however to be so self-critical?
Endeavouring to be consistent in our lives has a number of meritorious elements for us. People understand what we stand for. There should be no surprises. One would expect fewer misunderstandings and mixed messages (my issue). Perhaps more people would respect our views despite the fact that one may genuinely deviate from them.
On the other hand – we are complex cognitive beings. We are multifaceted in thought, actions, love, empathy, jealousy etc.
We are naturally wired to think critically and therefore I believe, that as a cognitive mammal it is unnatural or better said disingenuous to force oneself into a hermetically sealed box (blindly or otherwise) of one politically or socially circumscribed philosophy. I am quite sure I would make for a lousy politician.
So in this doctrinally polarized environment, if one takes a stand where one feels, “it is just too important to be silent”, personal assaults will be inevitable and one must be prepared for them. If I am sending out peaceful vibes on Instagram and sharp digs out on Facebook or Twitter, so be it. It is what I believe in. And, notably – I am prepared to face the music. It is our choice that allows people to get “under our skin” and feel unsettled. In the international best selling book, The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz expounds on the Second Agreement, Don’t Take Anything Personally.
“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. You become immune to black magicians, and no spell can affect you regardless of how strong it may be. The whole world can gossip about you, and if you don’t take it personally you are immune. Someone can intentionally send you emotional poison, and if you don’t take it personally, you will not eat it.”
Being authentic is not being hypocritical. Being a critical thinker is where we find genuineness and objectivity. That is what I always strive to uphold. If I remember that, I might also remember ALL of Ruiz’s four agreements.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
So there …