"Go put your creed into your deed. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson"
In other words, friends, actions speak louder than words. Or, perhaps, we should back up all of our talk with actions.
Let me begin by stating outright that I fully acknowledge that I am a hypocrite, and that even in writing this, I am increasing my hypocrisy tenfold.
But I try, so very hard, to not be a hypocrite.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say one thing, and do another. When they profess to living the lifestyle of one personality, and actually live the lifestyle of the exact opposite.
(Like I said, guilty as charged).
I get annoyed with drivers who are driving recklessly quickly,
but in turn, if I am in a hurry, do the same thing.
(Which begs the question of "Why do we hurry?" and "What's wrong with arriving precisely when you are meant to (like a wizard)?"....to be discussed at a later date, I would suppose).
And sometimes I catch myself and say "Well, Andrea, they could be on to a VERY important meeting, or perhaps someone is sick, or perhaps this....perhaps that...."
And then my inner gut says "Yes, and you know what excuses are like."
Unacceptable for most part. On all grounds. I should be more tolerant because I should love them and feel compassion for them because they are a living being. They should slow down because they should love and feel compassion for other individuals, and because there are very few things in this world that truly warrant rushing.
(If Nathan reads this, he knows how unbelievably hypocritcal I am being right now, I'm the queen of punctuality and untimeliness tends to drive me insane.)
Or, perhaps the hypocrisy that kills me the most, and the one that caused me to seriously reflect upon my personal beliefs/philosophies/religious understandings.
Back log, for those who know me, skip the next two paragraphs.
I work at a coffee shop in my home town, and we get a variety of customers. Everyone from the pre-teen who is testing out their new found driving skills and freedom by meeting up with friends, to the middle aged mom catching a coffee between children's activities, to the loner old man who loves nothing more than "A 12oz coffee, blueberry muffin, heat it up please with some butter and plastic fork, and a glass of water with plenty of ice" - Every.Single.Morning.
One significant group of customers that we cater to is the religious group. (Ie: Pastors, their wives, their congregation, their bible study groups, the individual doing a personal bible study, etc). I bear no bad bones about this people. I think the fact that they are trying to truly understand what they believe is incredible, and I wish more individuals did something like that.
Everyone back with me?
So it's that latter group that I see daily, the religious individuals, that cause me the most hypocritical angst. We have some folks that come in daily, daily, or perhaps even multiple times a day and order expensive drinks.
Awesome for business.
But how are all of their congregation members doing financially?
There is a lot of hidden poverty in the city I live in, and I find it hard to believe that the hundreds of dollars they spend every month at the coffee shop couldn't be better redirected to someone who needs the help more. And all of the time they spend just hanging out at a coffee shop? It could also probably be much better redirected.
Within this group, there are also a lot of older, wealthier individuals (often female), that preach to being awesome Christians. Yes, them. With their pounds of makeup, lots of jewelry, fancy Coach bag ("No it's not a knockoff! It's original!"). They, who treat the staff at the coffee shop like underlings. Like indentured servants to their caffeinated desires. These are the people that caused me to truly question my religious understandings. To look around while sitting in Mass and see more people with more things than they will ever need, wearing ridiculous things that they don't need, coated in cologne/perfume that is just causing everyone else around them to gag throughout the entire service, because they want to smell nice.
You see, my problem is that it is very ego-centric. The understanding of religion, specifically Christianity, in this area. Everything is fine and dandy and "Our God is an Awesome God - As-Long-As-I-Can-Keep-Driving-My-Escalade-To-Get-My-Nails-Done".
It kills me.
I grew up Catholic. I went through a Catholic school system and got a very good education (if a bit biased). I am undeniably grateful for the opportunities presented to me by my parents and the sacrifices they made.
But with this education, I've learned a lot about what the figurehead, Jesus, preached in a way of a lifestyle.
Here, want a good idea, let's start with the Beatitudes and move from there to the Ten Commandments.
Anyway you slice it. These individuals aren't even close to following the core, the essence, of their belief system. The moment they talk down to a staff member at the shop because the drink isn't just right, they've strayed.
My big question is then, do they repent?
Unfortunately, I think the attitude of "I get what I want" is so inherent in society and the culture, especially around here, that it doesn't seem wrong.
But remember, I, too, am a hypocrite.
But I acknowledge it.
And I work on it daily.
Because to be a hypocrite is the biggest annoyance in my life right now, and it will be for the rest of my life. But perhaps, because I am trying to be better. Because I am making a sincere, dedicated effort to improve my existence, I can say that yes, I am a hypocrite, but I am a progressive hypocrite, working to change and improve daily.