By Steve Mutua.
Diogenes, the naked fakir of old used to walk with a lamp during the day. When asked why, he used to say he is always searching for a real man. We may laugh at his antics but how many real people do you know? Are you one of them?
Jesus also seemed to have a soft spot for the condemned sinners but reserved his harshest words for the hypocrites like the Scribes, Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees.
The word Pharisee is even used today to refer to a hypocritical person.
Hypocrisy is not just about outward behaviour. It is more of an attitude. It is spiritual pride. It is placing oneself above ordinary humanity and their flaws. It is essentially having the attitude that condemns people for just being people.
A father who smokes but punishes his son when he gets him smoking is a hypocrite. A father who smokes but explains to his smoking son that he also struggles with giving up smoking and perhaps asks him to help find a way that could help both of them stop smoking is a real man and real dad.
Hypocrisy in a person in authority confuses the people who look upto him or her for guidance. When we pretend to be above certain human foibles and fallibilities, even if we dont have them, we are in error and in danger of being spiritually proud.
We all share the same basic bodymind structure and although some have been able to attain a certain mastery over the bodymind, we all still remain bodyminds as long as we are here on earth.
In fact, only those who have mastered certain undesirable attitudes through constant self reflection can help the rest of us who may be struggling to overcome the same issue.
Hypocrites are just idealists who expect others to live upto their self righteous ideals they have not earned by self growth.
I dont mean we dont point out negative behaviour in the people we care about but we must be real when doing so. People only grow in the soil of reality, not in that of hypocritical idealism.