Recently, I could not help but come to terms with a realization that made me shudder with contempt for my own species. Though it also made me peep into myself and realize a characteristic of my nature - one which is a subset of the universal nature of all of homo sapiens. The realization I talk of has made it clear to me that every human being is tinged - or inundated, as could be the case - with a deep rooted and outwardly imperceptible predilection towards hypocrisy. I do not, for the record, keep myself out of this superset. And the proof of this is omnipresent, if we care for a good hard look around. If we define hypocrisy as "an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction", then are we to believe that whenever we say one thing while having in mind the other, we are not embodying the odious essence of this very word? No, a judicious fellow like yourself would reply, we are not to believe that. In fact, if we indulge in this kind of lip service, we are truly being the paragon of hypocrisy, you would add. But wait, let me complete what I have to say. How many times does it happen with each one of us when we truly want one thing, or are following a certain train of thought, but end up saying something quite different - due to varied reasons like fear of appearing impudent or brusque in manners, not feeling close enough to our company at that moment to spell out what we truly feel or out of respect for our elders lest they be appalled and hurt by our extreme outspokenness? If we do it for the sake of smooth functioning of the society, you would say, then its raison d'etre is acceptable enough and it would not be bracketed under hypocrisy. But who are we to decide whether the reason for putting up an appearance by a certain person is good/bad without compromising our sense of objectivity? Should we be audacious enough to believe that we won't bring our prejudices into play if we appoint ourselves as the decider of the good reasons versus bad reasons when there are examples galore in the whole of history to prove that right/wrong is wholly subjective?
So my question is - is it not hypocrisy when we put up a false face, for any good/bad reason whatsoever, and say something, which is quite distinct from what we actually had been thinking? If we were to stick to the semantics, this is exactly what hypocrisy is defined as. Why, even great writers have withheld the publication of their autobiographies until after their demise for fear that the outspokenness of it would hurt and injure the people who were close to them and who inevitably found an honest mention is the journals. (Mark Twain is a case in point here, who had left instructions to release his 5,000 unexpurgated pages of memoirs a 100 years after his death. The 1st part of the trilogy hit the stores in November 2010. A widely believed reason for him keeping his personal life under wraps for so long is that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends). And there are many others who dilute the harsh mention of relatives and close friends. Surely, this action of propriety should not be classified as hypocrisy. Thus one has to definitely draw a line. But then again, won't drawing a line be tantamount to bringing the subjective into play? Won't your line be different from my line?