So, say for example, a blogger posts one bright, Spring morning about her outlook on life. She posits that life is "absurd, silly, ridiculous, powerful and fun all at the same time", and recommends that her readers heed Thich Naht Hanh's advice that "Life is only available in the present moment."
And, ohhhhh... I don't know... Say that same blogger happens to misplace her iPhone later that evening. She foolishly abandons it in a key moment, when exiting a cab, and is right to believe that she may not see it again. She logs into the Find my iPhone app, but shortly after, the signal goes dead. As does any hope of retrieving it.
She throws a tantrum. She pleads with the fates to spare her from suffering, bargaining and questioning her fortune, "Why me? Haven't I been through enough?!" She begs her boyfriend, Mom, anyone to help track down the thief, even though it's long past midnight and they both have obligations early Sunday morning. She sees red with frustration and fury as she eventually accepts her only prospect. Defeat.
Those two situations seem to be at odds. Would you then consider this blogger to be a.... hypocrite? That's a pretty strong word, right? Let's re-examine its definition to ensure you and I are on the same page:
Hypocrisy Noun \hi-ˈpä-krə-sē also hī-\ Feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.To be more accurate, then, would you say that this blogger feigned to be something other than what she is, feigned to believe something she didn't, or made a false claim to virtue?
That's a tough one. In the initial post, she wrote about her perspective on mindfulness, not on how to deal with losing your iPhone (although someone should write that blog post). She made no claim to 'be' anything in particular, especially not virtuous. Although her tantrum strongly suggests she may not act according to the words she blogged, it might be unfair to label her a hypocrite because she never claimed to live in accordance with those beliefs (and as we can see, isn't). I would conclude, then, that she was just having a bad day.
At this point in the story I will confess. That desperate blogger was me. I am ashamed to admit that after writing what I believe to be a poignant post Saturday, my beliefs were put to the test. I failed. I lost all connection with rationale. I was angry and felt personally targeted. I used none of my coping techniques. I let my thoughts take me to dark places. And the whole time a voice muttered quietly in my head: "Wow. You didn't freak out this hard when you were diagnosed with cancer."
So what the heck? How did my words get so lost in their transition from speech to behaviour?
That's the upside of blogging. Like me, it's a work-in-progress. It's not a book that has been finished, edited, reviewed, printed and pushed out onto the market. My words represent a moment in my absurd existence, and you can guarantee that they will contradict previous words. I call that learning. And luckily, I've never been contradictory or hypocritical about my desire to do just that.
So, dear reader, I hope you don't find me guilty of blogging hypocrisy. I hope you agree with my conclusion that I don't claim to be anything but an individual committed to learning, growth and experience.
In this case, the lesson is simple. Don't blog about the comedy of life unless you're ready to laugh at it.