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Doesn’t it sound strange that even those positive and constructive looking goals are set by your ego and they are even achieved with a big part of the help coming from your ego? However, it is true and let’s now consider an example in order to understand it. Suppose you’re a pure scientist, which means you’re an isolate intellectual type. You desire to accomplish a particular invention or discovery and you start working to achieve this goal.
Over the next few years, you make significant progress towards your goal though you feel that much is still needed to be done in order to witness the final result. Hence you start working more and you even start working from home, whenever you’re free. You’re so dedicated and focused in your approach that you may not even attend properly to your family or even to your daily needs.
You spend many more years, you work even harder and in a more dedicated way and finally, you achieve your target. You’ve reached the invention or discovery you wanted and it is a positive as well as constructive thing for society as your invention may help mankind advance or it may facilitate the world in a different way. You set a positive target, you worked hard, you were driven by your intellect, you even dragged your body to over perform during this conquest and you finally achieved a heroic victory.
It all looks so positive and many of us may want to do things like that. However, there may be factors which are hidden and which may skip your attention. Let’s now look at these factors and see if this whole story is actually this positive or not? You set a goal to discover something so that the entire mankind may be facilitated. It is good and positive till here and it may change from here onwards.
Over the next few years, you realize that through your natural style of working, you may or may not achieve this goal in your lifetime. It means if you work hard for ten hours a day and you use the rest of the time to fulfill your other duties as well as to meet your daily requirements, you may or may not accomplish this task in your lifetime. Let me ask you this question here that what is wrong if you don’t achieve this goal in your lifetime?
You’re recording as well as saving all your research and it will remain available for the scientists of the coming generations. If you maintain your natural as well as balanced lifestyle, you may or may not see this discovery happening in your lifetime. If it happens in your lifetime, it is good. However, if it doesn’t happen in your lifetime, the coming scientists will resume your research from the point you left and they’ll complete this job. You see, in this case also, the discovery will finally be reached. So what is it which makes you think that you alone should finish this project in your lifetime, even if you have to make so many changes to your lifestyle?
The answer as you may know by now is the attachment of your ego to this project. Your ego is now attached to this project it wants to see the completion of this project by you, so that the credit may be assigned to your name and that too in your presence which means in your lifetime. Since you’re an intellectual type of person, your ego may use your intellect to convince you and hence your intellect may give you a number of reasons to complete this project by yourself. Here are some of these reasons for better understanding.
Your intellect may tell you that if you die without finishing this project, the scientists of the later generations may not be able to finish it and hence you have to take it to completion by yourself. This reason may look like a very good reason but only to you or so to say, to your ego as it is only interested in a reason to justify its actions and it is not interested in the fact whether such reason is valid or not. If the reason is actually not a valid reason, your ego may convince you to believe it is. As you’re convinced, this is all your ego cares for.
Looking at this reason, throughout the history of mankind, intellect has only been rising and it has not fallen. It means that on average, each generation is smarter than the previous generation and that is why we’ve been able to witness so much growth all around us. Hence the chances are fairly high that if you’re not able to complete this project in your lifetime, a scientist from the very next generation may complete it. Therefore, this reason doesn’t hold good though it may look good to you, as your ego may have blurred your vision.
Then there may be another reason given by your ego that since you’ve started this project, you must see it through. This is the probably the best reason that your ego may give you. It may also tell you that all great men were great because they finished what they started and they did whatever it took to finish their tasks. It may remind you of many such great men from history who went above and beyond to finish what they started. Though it looks like a very solid reason and you may not even find any logic against this reason, it is not so perfect in reality.
If it is the mark of a great man to finish what he started, then this rule should be applied to all the tasks or affairs undertaken by you and it should not apply to this task alone. For instance, you married your wife long back with a spoken or unspoken promise that you’ll give her due time and attention that a wife deserves. Due time and attention means fair amount of them and it doesn’t mean anything unfair.
Similarly, when you brought a son to this world, it was once again your unspoken promise that you’d do the best in your power to raise him in the best possible way. Doing so once again demands proper time and attention from your side. Though there may be many other such tasks which you may have undertaken, we’ll consider these two tasks for the time being.
When you start working day and night in order to finish this project in time as you want to obey the rule of ‘great men finish what they start’; do you apply this rule to these two spheres? The answer is no and this is what makes you a hypocrite. You start spending more and more time on your project and you start ignoring your wife, even against her wishes. Whenever she demands your attention which she duly deserves; you may silence her by giving her a number of reasons generated by your ego.
She may have a number of grudges against you and many of them may be valid ones. You made promises to her and then you broke them, you undertook the job of being a husband and you failed at it or in other words, you left the mission of being a husband unfinished. You do the same to your son and you fail to complete the job of being a father in proper manner. Likewise, you may leave many such important jobs incomplete, in order to complete just one job.
The most interesting thing is that your ego motivates you that you must finish what you start, when it comes to finish this project. However, the same ego keeps silence when your wife or son tells you that you must properly finish what you started with them. It should be noted that your ego is a perfect mutant and it can assume the form of your body, intellect, your heart and even that of your conscience at times. When that happens, you may think a decision is coming from your intellect or from your heart depending on the situation; it may be coming from your ego in reality as your ego is completely in charge of your intellect or heart at that time.
It means when needed, your ego may become your physical body, it may become your intellect, it may become your heart and it may even pretend to become your conscience. Going even one step further, your ego tells you that their complaints are baseless and they’ll benefit the most when your project is finished. This approach is what makes you a hypocrite. You’re applying a particular rule to succeed at a particular thing in your life and you’re going against the same rule when it comes to most other things in your life; the perfect mark of a true hypocrite.
The word hypocrisy rules over a large empire in today’s world and it is not as small as you may think. It may look like a simple word which may rule some people or some spheres of their lives, it is not so. In reality, hypocrisy is ruling the maximum number of spheres of a majority of people living in this day and age. In order to look at some of these examples, let’s first get to know the deeper meaning of this word called hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy in its deeper sense means saying one thing and doing another in order to benefit in all situations. It also means making different rules for different people under similar situations, in order to benefit in all situations. Hypocrisy also means strongly advocating a rule at a time and going against it at another time, in order to benefit in both situations. Likewise, all the practices which lead you to engage in opposite types of actions at different times, when they should ideally have been the same, are called hypocrisy. After knowing this much, let’s take a look at some examples of hypocrisy.
My son should respect me though I don’t respect my father; this type of approach makes you a hypocrite. Going deeper into this case, there may broadly be two rules for this situation and following anyone of them in sense makes you a non-hypocrite. The first rule says that a son should respect his father. If you choose to stand by this rule, you should have respected your father. As you haven’t obeyed this rule, you’re not entitled to expect the others to obey it. Therefore, if you don’t respect your father but you expect your son to respect you, you’re a hypocrite as you’re not following the rule in its true sense.
Another rule may be made for this situation and this rule says that a son doesn’t need to respect his father. I know it doesn’t look like a good rule but let’s discuss it for the sake of even more clarity. If you choose to stick by this rule and this is why you don’t respect your father, there is no point in expecting respect from your son as that goes against this rule.
Hence if you don’t respect your father and you don’t expect your son to respect you either, you’re not a hypocrite. Yes it is true, you may not be a very good person for not respecting your father but at least you’re honest and not a hypocrite. You understand that you don’t respect your father and accordingly you should not expect respect from your son. This is what makes you an honest person and not a hypocrite as you’re following the rule in both the cases. However, if you obey this rule when it comes to not respect your father and you expect your son to break this rule and respect you, you’re a hypocrite.
You see, whether you believe in the first rule or in the second one which is the exact opposite of the first one, you’re hypocrite in both the cases. An honest person is the one who follows a rule in its true sense and in all situations whereas a hypocrite follows a rule when doing so benefits him; and he chooses not to follow it when he sees loss in following it.
Taking a look at another example, you expect your wife to be loyal to you and at the same time, you think you may afford the luxury of being disloyal to her. If such is the case, you’re once again a hypocrite. An honest person follows one of these two rules. The first one says that husband and wife should be loyal to each other whereas the second one says husband and wife need not be loyal to each other. If you go by the first rule, you can’t afford the luxury of being disloyal to your wife.
If you follow the second rule and you are disloyal to your wife, you can’t expect her to be loyal to you, according to the same rule. Hence if you’re following anyone of these rules in true sense, you’re not a hypocrite and you’re an honest person though choosing to follow the second rule may question your character in different ways. However, when you follow one rule and you make another rule for your wife in a way that both these rules end up facilitating you; you’re certainly a hypocrite.
Taking a different example, you go to a religious place and you ask god for his grace. You do so because you believe in the rule that god is far more resourceful than you and hence he helps the less resourceful ones. This is a good rule and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, as you step out of this religious place and a bagger asks you for any kind of help at all, you may try to avoid him or you may even treat him bad.
This happens in case of many people and they don’t even realize that they may become hypocrites by engaging in this practice. This is because if the rule says that the more resourceful one should help the less resourceful one when the latter asks for such help, you should also help this bagger when he prays for help. However, you may not do so and to justify this situation, your ego may give you a number of reasons including the overall negative character of the bagger asking for such help.
Have you ever realized that you too may be nothing more than this bagger when you pray to god for help? You may have even more flaws in your character than this bagger may have. Since you expect god to help you despite all your flaws, isn’t it fair to obey the same rule and help this bagger despite his flaws, even if such help is a really small one? However, you may not do so and you break this rule when it comes to help this bagger while expecting god to follow the same rule when it comes to help you. This is what makes you a hypocrite.
In this case also, there are two rules and following anyone of them in proper sense makes you honest. The first rule says that the more resourceful one should help the less resourceful one when the latter needs such help or prays for such help. If you go by this rule, you have the right to go to god and ask for his help through your prayers. However, by choosing to go by this rule, you also become liable to help this bagger as well as all other people who ask for your help from time to time. It doesn’t matter how much help you may actually be able to offer, and what matters is that you present yourself for such help.
For instance, when a bagger asks you for money and your financial status allows you to donate one Rupee without much trouble, even this much help is sufficient. Similarly, when you see an old man standing at the side of a road and looking for someone to help him cross this road, you are required to help this old man, according to the same rule that you believe in. It should be noted that this old man may not have asked you in particular for this help and he may be looking here and there in general for anyone to come and help him out of his situation.
This general prayer of this old man for help makes it compulsory for everyone following this rule to help him. The equation is simple, you believe in this rule and you want to benefit through this rule. This is why it becomes your duty to obey this rule at the other end also. People who pray to god for his grace or help will agree that it is not only when they consciously pray to him that they expect him to help them; but they expect god to help them even when they may suddenly fall into trouble and they don’t even have the time or sanity to pray to him for help.
The word sanity in this context means that while driving, if you’re about to hit another vehicle head on head, you may completely lose your sanity for the time being due to a panic attack and hence you may not be able to pray to god at this time. All your senses may get lost or distorted for the time being as you see a disaster so close to you. Hence you may not be able to pray to god in this situation but you still expect him to help you, according to the same rule. If you’re able to avoid this accident by virtue of something uncalculated and miraculous, the first thing you may do after that is to thank god. This is because you may feel that though you were not able to ask for his help at this time, he still came to help you, bound by this rule.
The situation is the same when this old man is looking for help in general. Hence if you believe in this rule and you ask for god’s help through this rule, you can’t afford the luxury to ignore this old man in need, under the pretext that he’s not directly asking you to help. Even if this old man or anyone else for that matter looks out for help in general, which means anyone who may help should help, the rule you believe in binds you to help. There are many other such examples in day to day life but I guess the point I want to make is made.
If you help people in need as and when you can and as much as you can, you have due right to bind god to help you according to the same rule and believe me, he’ll always come to help you in this case. If you obey this rule in its true sense, you may find that whenever a problem falls on you and you feel incapable of dealing with it on your own, help comes in any shape or form and you get out of this problem. The most amazing thing is that most of the time, such help may come even before you pray to god for such help.
You may call him very kind and caring, but in reality, all this is happening because you’ve bound god with this rule by obeying it from your end, in its true sense. It means god also has to obey it and as you can understand, he is perfectly capable of obeying any rule to its deepest sense. Hence if you become a person like this, he may not need a call for help and he may come to help you as soon as he feels that you’re in trouble and you may not be able to get out of it on your own. As soon as that happens, he sends help in different forms and shapes.
So if you believe in this rule; you help the needy ones and you expect god to help you when you pray to him, your demand is fair enough and you’re an honest person. This is because you’re only expecting the same thing in return, that you’re delivering and hence it’s fair enough. The equation looks perfectly balanced and this makes you a good, kind as well as an honest person.
However, if you keep praying to god for his help and at the same time, you don’t help the needy ones in most cases even when such acts of help may be small ones and you can easily afford them, you are certainly a hypocrite. This is because you want god to follow this rule when you don’t follow it yourself. This is what makes you a hypocrite as you’re once again dealing in double standards.
The second and the opposite rule in this case is that no one should help anyone and everyone should manage his affairs on his own. I know it sounds like a strange rule which it may be, but even this one is fine as long as you obey it in its proper sense. If you choose to go by this rule, you don’t have the need to help anyone at all and hence you’re free from this so called burden. However, the same rule prohibits you from asking help from god or from anyone, in time of need. Hence if you follow this rule, you should not ask anyone for help and you should face all your problems alone.
If you can do that, you’re certainly not a hypocrite and you’re an honest person, though you may not be a kind person as you don’t believe in helping anyone. However, being a kind person and being an honest person are different things. Even an unkind person can be honest and even a partly kind person can be dishonest. I’ve used the phrase partly kind in this context because as soon as kindness reaches its peak in your personality, dishonesty vanishes. Hence an absolutely kind person can’t afford the luxury of being dishonest though a partly kind person may afford this luxury.
Moving on, the problem occurs when even with this rule, you choose one end and you ignore the other end. It means you don’t help anyone as you believe in this rule but at the same time, you ask god or other people for help or you expect them to help you in time of your need. If such is the case, you’re once again a hypocrite as you want to do one type of thing to the others and you want the opposite type of thing to be done to you.
The word honesty includes this clause that you should expect same or similar things to be done to you, which you do to other people or universe in general. Hence even a criminal who confesses his crime and who’s willing to serve the sentence may be honest and he may not be a hypocrite. This is because he realizes that if he does bad to the others, he should only expect bad to happen to him. Since he’s following the rule of ‘do bad and bad will come to you’ in its true sense, he’s honest, though he may be a criminal.