My title is part of a quote by Noam Chomsky. It so rightly describes the hypocrite and his or her attitude. The hypocrite says and does one thing but practices another. Hypocrisy has been defined as the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess. It is falseness. Sadly there are many people in this world who practice hypocrisy. Hypocrisy hurts and shows a lack of character. There are many different forms of Hypocrisy. Let me illustrate this with some examples.

The Political Animal

My first example is the Political Animal. This is the person who speaks badly of the government in power or of certain individuals. The Political Animal will be highly critical of the important people, of policies, of decisions, of tasks, of laws and a host of other things. He or she will make scathing comments about the person’s personality and character. However, when the Political Animal meets the important person, he or she will bow, scrape and be very, very nice. The Political Animal knows when to change and to take advantage of the situation, particularly if he or she can receive something, be it a substantial or small amount from the important person.

The Independent Woman

My second example is the Independent Woman. She is the social activist, the Feminist Champion who works for social change and who speaks critically of men and their treatment of women. This is the person who sets herself up as a model of independence and will often repeat the statement made by Gloria Steinem that “women need men like fish need bicycles.” She is the one who speaks up on causes and issues because she wants to change the world and in particular, that she wants to change the way that men behave towards women. But when the Independent Woman meets a man who is attractive to her, her knees buckle and she swoons. The Independent Woman is now no longer the hard female chauvinist but just your average female who is besotted with a man.

The Vibrant Man

My third example is the Vibrant Man whose sex drive is in overdrive and who constantly cheats on his wife but maintains an image of a virtuous and good husband to everyone else. This is the man who is lauded by society, who is highly regarded by everyone as a morally upright citizen. The government and other organisations will bestow award after award on this person. No one knows that this man is cruel to his wife and hurts her immensely. The world does not know his dark secret!

The Demure Woman

My fourth example is the Demure Woman who wants to see change but will not speak up. She is critical of other women, in particular, who speak up, even calling them strident. She lets the men know that she is with them and that she agrees with them that women who speak up are loud and strident. Yet when she is with the very women who speak up she will be all nice and sweet with them.

The Religious Man

My fifth example is the Religious Man. This is the man who presents an image of a religious person and yet, when faced with the slightest opportunity, will forget the teachings of his religion. To be specific, this is the person who will tell others not to consume alcohol because his religion does not permit it. However he will himself consume vast amounts of alcohol. He will travel away from his home country to do so. Together, with this binge drinking, Religious Man will engage in sexual exploits with all kinds of women. Religion is forgotten!

The Not So Honest Person

My sixth example is the Not So Honest Person. This is the person who maintains that cheating is immoral and yet will cheat and steal. This is the person who will steal vast amounts of money from the company for which he or she works. He or she will also develop schemes to obtain funds from others for his or her own use. This person will also accept bribes and offers. Yet he or she will maintain a clean and honest front for all to see.

The Not So Good Values Person

My seventh example and one that we have seen written up about in the media recently is the Not So Good Values person. This is the person who professes to maintain good values but engages in child abuse. This is the revolting hypocrite.

Why Hypocrisy?

When a hypocrite is exposed, the people associated with the hypocrite are shocked. The trust that they had placed with this person is destroyed. Is it a flaw in one’s character that causes one to practise hypocrisy? Is the person not able to practice the values that he or she states are important and therefore does the opposite secretly?

How To Stop Being Hypocritical

We can stop ourselves from being hypocritical by practising integrity. Use integrity in all that you do. Be open and honest about everything. Do not hide anything from others. Check what you say. Communicate the truth and choose your words carefully. Say what you mean. Check your actions. Are they what you really meant to do? Do not condemn others immediately.

If you tell the world that you maintain positive value, then you need to show them, in the way you live your life and in the work that you undertake, these positive values. Live out the values. Exhibit the values, apply them every day and this will ensure that you will avoid being a hypocrite. To remind you of what is a hypocrite, I would like to leave you with a quote by Adlai E. Stevenson II who described it aptly when he said “A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”

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