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  • Writer's pictureBrian Patterson

Hypocrisy or Humility?

What deadly habits do you live that you do not notice? I have been studying hypocrisy lately. Mostly, I’ve done it from inside. Inside myself and inside companies and inside religion. When I am a hypocrite, I don’t acknowledge it or believe it from someone else. I perceive myself, my company, or my religion and my interpretation of it as impeccable and the paragon of truth. It seems to require a precipitating event to place the hypocrisy against the glaring relief of reality.

The condition that seems to make hypocrisy most visible is the contrast of humility. The two cannot co-exist in the same person. They are mutually exclusive. Since humility is not very popular right now, hypocrisy is everywhere. My way is right. If you do not believe my way then you are wrong and you are evil since you disagree.

In our current political climate, there is no reasonable discourse that I can see. Those who report on the happenings of the day are not unbiased and freely give their opinions to a captive audience. I’m looking for adequate information upon which I can make my decision and those who are supposed to be giving me those facts are stating their opinions and skewing the information to suit their own biases.

Whatever happened to civility in conversation? Whatever happened to the unity in spite of who is elected? I have unfriended folks on Facebook because they respond in such unfriendly ways to my posts or those of my other friends. I just don’t want to ehar it any more. That’s too bad because they may have thoughts I need to hear but I cannot hear over their anger.

Dr. William Glasser, originator of Choice Theory and Reality therapy identified 7 Deadly Habits that we use to disconnect ourselves from others. They are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening punishing and rewarding to control. He said, toward the end of his life, that if we could get rid of the first 3, the world would be a better place.

Dr. Glasser also said that all behavior is chosen. Behavior is total and includes four distinct but interwoven parts: thinking, acting, feeling, and physiology. Angering would be a behavior that includes thinking angry thoughts, acting angrily, feeling anger and internalizing the anger physiologically. Choosing anger will destroy relationships and eventually, the person behaving in this manner.

Glasser’s Caring Habits are the counter- balance to these: supporting, encouraging, listening, trusting, accepting, respecting, and negotiating differences. What a difference there would be if these would be practiced until they become habits. I think to begin to implement these habits requires humility. I do not know what is best for others. I cannot tell someone else how to speak. I can only say that when people are exhibiting the Deadly Habits, tearing down one another, our world and nation cannot heal. I would suggest that you use this day to evaluate yourself. Are you hypocritical of humble? Are you using Deadly or Caring Habits? What could the world use from you today?

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