essays

Hypocrisy

A hushed glance as a dollar bill is passed beneath a glass barrier, still taken as payment. A bump on the elbow for some, a fist bump for others, for others yet a brazen hug. Sometimes doing things like going to the gym, while other times deeming such activities dangerous. Crowds being maskless at some places or in some times, while masked others. A family member traveling cross-country to visit with the family, and declining to quarantine.

It is my observation that I myself have been a hypocrite at many times throughout this pandemic. In certain places, at certain times, in certain situations, I have behaved in some ways with respect to our restrictions; while in other places, times, and situations I have behaved in different ways.

Perhaps you identify with none of this. Perhaps to you, the pandemic is a hoax and you have been boldly campaigning for your freedoms. If that is the case, I am willing to bet that you have turned a blind eye when other groups campaigned for their freedoms in previous years; why the disparity in your attitude? And if you believe the pandemic is a hoax and that the media are lying to you, can you see how you choose to believe some media, those which tell you the others are liars? That is, can you see that you place in “alternative” media the same undying trust you accuse others of placing in the “mainstream”?

If we are all of us hypocrites, then the question is: why? In my view, it is because we have universal needs which cannot be eradicated; in order to get these needs met in various situations, we pre-select what to believe and toss out certain information. For instance, a human need I have and that we all have is for physical touch—during this pandemic, there have been times in which I have needed to flout guidelines in order to meet that need. No matter how I have rationalized to myself what I was doing, the fact remains: I am a hypocrite.

As we move forward into the remainder of 2021 and beyond, I want to encourage you to think: what things do you believe that you have selected merely to fit into a certain in-group, or to get certain emotional or physiological needs met? Being honest with yourself, to what degree can you say you really know anything? Setting aside what it is that you claim you know, what are your needs: what do you need spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically? In my opinion, these are the truest “facts” you will ever grasp.

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