For all the fire and passion we put into our beliefs and our standards, we'd be hard pressed to deny that each one of us, in our own way, is a complete and total hypocrite.
The idea that once we set our minds on a concept -- whether it's a political stance, a particular take on activism or rights, or even a way of looking at life in general -- this notion of never deviating from the associated rulebook that comes along with these ideas is not only impossible, it's inhuman. No matter how committed one is there is no such thing as black and white in a universe where all actions float in a sea of gray areas.
The truth is that we cannot be just one thing; it's virtually impossible. Maybe it's time to lighten up a bit and acknowledge the fact that we're all hypocrites and that being a hypocrite is not necessarily a bad thing -- it's just a human thing.
We call each other hypocrites because we think we're hitting people with hard insulting truths that say, "How can you call yourself a (die-hard belief-related noun) when you also do (non-belief-related action)? The answer: because we can. We can. We can do a lot of things at the same time, in fact, we can believe in a million things at once and still retain the necessary denial mechanisms that keep us thinking we're pure, refined vehicles of what we stand for.
What we've called hypocrisy for so, so long is merely the human condition playing itself out in the drama of judgment and evaluation. For every person who invalidates another due to his or her less than perfect score on the Richter scale of "Points One Must Adhere To Lest They Suffer the Excommunication of Said Mob," there is someone else who pretends to be the stellar example of "what should be," in the world of absolutes.
One can move through several levels and still maintain that they are the real deal, when in fact, they are simply hypocrites. The key here is to soften the harshness that comes with the word. Hypocrisy is just what we partake of because life is impossible without it.
For instance, an animal lover can adore animals and fight for their rights -- and they can be meat eaters and leather wearers. The hardcore activists may condemn them, but somewhere along the lines, an animal product was used to further along their mission... that activist may have sat in a restaurant where milk may have at one point been stirred into the same cup they might be drinking their tea out of today -- did they protest this -- or did they let it slide? How far does one go to remain pure to the cause? There is a breaking point where things suddenly go forgiven, simply because it's impossible to backtrack all those impure segues.
Someone who believes in the tenets of a particular religion can also simultaneously think and act in ways that contradict the approved set of laws. The rigidity of law is not always one size fits all, and for the sake of wiggle room, many people carve out their own niche within the regulations and restrictions -- just to survive, sometimes to thrive.
Personal responsibility is comprised of privacy and allowance. The decisions we make on how we conduct ourselves when it comes to what we believe in are all made in the rationality room called "denial" and whether we are conscious or not of just how much denial we ascribe to, in the end, what we deny is what keeps us from thinking we're not hypocrites.
When we condemn another for what they stick up for, what they bleed all over the page for -- we are in denial of the fact that there are gray areas that both parties are not confessing to. Everybody is guilty of not being completely upfront and nobody on earth is pure unless they are either a newborn baby or an unconditionally removed person who lives out of society, in a place where the only thing that matters is love of nature, compassion and ultimate respect for all creatures.
The minute we hit the media, the computer, the iPhone, the Internet -- the more ideas we take on and call our own, the more fights we fight because we believe fighting is the only way to achieve our goal, the more we quote the rebels and disqualify those we believe are wrong because they don't do it our way -- the more we succumb to the delusion of "my way or the highway" the more we become hypocrites, and ironically we've also decided that being a hypocrite is the worst thing anyone could be. Call someone a hypocrite and you can really set an ego on fire.
Oh, the list of hypocritical events that we can indulge in goes on and on, and the greater the hypocrisy, the less information you'll hear about it. That's because if we were really to own up to just how hypocritical we all really are, we'd kill ourselves with the guilt of it all. I mean, who really wants to think about sweatshops, right? Who in their right mind wants to investigate the reality of the word, "humane" -- right? Nah, we just want to wear the clothes, eat the meat, fight the fight... it's all good man, right?
Because I'm a peace-loving, friendly, compassionate, thoughtful person who believes in human rights, freedom and love -- love and kindness and compassion for ALL -- almond milk and gluten free cookies for ALL -- free my people -- this land is my land -- my right to bear arms -- my right to marry whomever I want -- rescue an animal today -- I am woman hear me roar -- damn the torpedoes -- raise high the roof beams -- fly high the freak flag -- keep the Internet free...
And all hail the Queen of Denial, for she is the one who lets us all pretend that adorable phrases like "conflict minerals" don't exist, and that very real scenes of endless violence, torture and rape don't exist in the countries where the precious minerals called tantalum, tin and tungsten are mined for the purpose of making all of our present electronic devices possible and functional. If you don't know what conflict minerals are, then the Queen is doing a good job. If you're interested, then look it up. On your computer. The one you use to fight for your rights in public forums. The one you use to show the world how pure you are in your beliefs. The one you spent megabucks for so that you can write your blogs on how great a person you are for telling that awful person on Facebook off for being such a hypocrite.
I suppose I should apologize to the families who died in the tantalum mines so that I could have an iPhone to call out for a pizza, whose cheese came a from a cow that belonged to a man who was pressured into becoming a farmer when he really wanted to be a gay priest yet married a woman who was underpaid and disallowed an abortion by a government that was elected by people who didn't vote yet stood their ground and stomped on the ideas of others while proclaiming at the top of their lungs, "My way or the highway!"
I apologize as I press, "submit."