Human relationships are the most exciting and fulfilling aspect of our existence. Also, they can be the most painful and frustrating part of it. With regards to them, one of the unarguable values that society tells us to have is honesty. However, the more I think about honesty, the less honest it becomes.
Sometimes, as an experiment, when I am in a group of people and someone starts talking about a slightly controversial topic, like politics or religion, I tend to say things just to observe their reactions. If what I say supports the main speaker’s point of view, usually the others do too. If I say something that makes them think that I feel completely the opposite, the others, including the main speaker, tend to back off and change his/her point of view. You could say that people are just trying to be polite, or maybe they don’t really have a strong point of view. But, I think the main reason is people don’t like confrontation (notice that ‘being polite’ implies a completely different intention). In general, people try to avoid confronting anyone even if that means not being honest about what they think or believe.
Some may say that this is being hypocritical, and by definition, they are right. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. However, people avoid disagreeing because they also believe that it is likely to cause discomfort and will deny everybody of having a peaceful time. Therefore, here is a dichotomy that exists within us. We can be honest while lying. We lie being honest.
If we put on one side of a balance the option: Let the others know what I really think, and how I would really behave if nobody would get affected, but I know they would; and on the other side, the other option: Nobody really needs to know about what I think, or what I do, and I can get on with everybody at least here and for now… Well, I think the benefits of the second option will weigh a lot more.
So, with this in mind, I’d like to redeem the word hypocrisy. It is something needed, and something that can bring more benefits than its antonym. Next time someone calls you a hypocrite, don’t take it as an offence, take it as a complement. It was for everybody’s sake.