50 Thoughts: Hypocrisy, Much?

Sitting at my daughter’s swim meet tonight, a friend and I were talking about recent doctor’s appointments.

Me: Yeah, my cholesterol has shot up. I gave up bread for awhile, but I really have to focus on that again. And I’ve given up candy. I’m working on cutting back on my sugar.

Me, 5 minutes later: Yep — going to Portillo’s for an Italian beef and a chocolate cake shake. See ya!

Why can’t I do as I say and not do as I do?

I don’t mind the ticky tack stuff like whether I am sticking to a diet or not as much as the bigger lessons I am trying to impart on my kids. Like telling my boys they don’t need to help themselves to a beer every night while I am twirling my glass of wine. Or reminding my daughter not to gossip but then turning around and using the catch-all “I need to vent” as an excuse to chitty chat about things I really don’t need to chitty chat about.

Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not : behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.” I am not going to throw myself under the bus, it’s not that bad — I just know that this is a character flaw I need to focus on, because the older I get, the ickier it feels.

I’m a big believer in service to others. So why did I walk past the homeless guy outside Walgreens the other day? I think kindness goes far personally and professionally. So why the urge to snark?

Maybe it’s the news cycle that makes hypocrisy an easy target tonight. We see and hear it every day from D.C. — so much so, you wonder if you’re living in some parallel universe. What’s good for the goose is almost never good for the gander.

If I were to offer up a way to combat this, I’d probably defer to critical thinking skills. Kids need to know the difference between right and wrong, sure, but also the nuances, the gray area where those concepts are defined by their own belief set. There’s likely a general consensus around a community’s moral standards, but everyone’s mileage may vary on how exacting they are.  To best make that determination, it’s important to be able to examine a situation from a factual standpoint, and then apply personal beliefs to it.

Long story short? Pass on to your kids the standards by which you live your life. What you feel is right. Even when you are not measuring up. But teach your kids to think for themselves. Do it. Then they’ll be able to tell the difference between being hypocritical and being human.

What’s not ok though? Me eating more bread. If you see me out there in the world, call me out on it. I’m kicking hypocrisy to the curb, one breadstick at a time.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Today’s recommendation: Here’s a fun one — The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll. All sorts of people pretending to be things they are not. All that hypocrisy doesn’t end well for this crew.

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