Thursday, May 05, 2005

To tell the truth

It is often noted that what we dislike about others is usually something we secretly dislike about ourselves. So what does one say about things that we actively dislike about ourselves? I've found that I'm very good at arguing something irrespective of whether I believe in it; fact is I enjoy it so much that I can lose my own opinion in the heat of a discussion. And if it ends up being one of the few things a person is good at they will tend to derive greater enjoyment from it than might otherwise be the case. Though I might prefer to say that I see it as an ability that I can see more than one side to any issue and that being able to see the other side is an aid to being able to empathise with others, I really think of it as a weakness. Someone people would just call it lying. So I value the truth and trust in others above a lot of more sensible things.

So, how does that affect my opinion of others? Well, it makes me incredibly aware of and sensitive to other people saying one thing and believing another. It is what I refer to as hypocrisy. I think there is a big difference between saying one thing and doing another even if you still believe in what you said, and saying one thing and doing the opposite because you never believed in it in the first place. The latter is truly hypocritical and the former is just plain old human weakness. In large part for that sole reason, I much prefer to surround myself with people that have beliefs and that are prepared to be consistent about them. As one expression goes, it is something that really gets my goat. I like to be in a position where I am able to trust other people in large part because I don’t entirely trust myself. And finding that trust or presumption of trust was misplaced ends up being a double blow, because the decision as to who to trust is mine and in making a mistake I’ve demonstrated to myself that I can’t trust my judgement. So, I have to mind what I say and do, and who I trust. After all who knows what I might say tomorrow.

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