Practicing what you preach is harder than you think and something that I am struggling to do myself. Right now we are going through a political circus in congress with yet another battle over who would be speaker. And congress is filled with people who have strong opinions and seek to hold others to account for some action or position. This is right on TV and before our eyes on the news. They instantly seize on a perceived scandal and blow it up in order to get the change they want. At the same time they ignore their ally’s scandals sometimes for similar offenses.
Watching TV this morning, I saw a television preacher stating about how it’s sin if you lie on a bank application. Face it, it’s also a felony that is called bank fraud. But this same preacher is ok with his political hero that has done the same think, which is not practicing what you preach. You can’t tell your flock that lying is bad for his flock but it’s ok for someone else.
Did you notice these constant battles over politics these days may be causing your heart to race or your stomach to churn? What makes it worse is when someone you support or love does something wrong and you ignore it, but still try to rationalize it. Well, if someone you don’t like does something wrong and you jump all over that, then be consistent and condemn the person you support in the same way. Otherwise, you are being hypocritical and not practicing what you preach.
Maybe before we start leaping to pass judgement on others we need to take a breath and relax. The constant turmoil we put ourselves through serves little purpose. In politics, campaigning hard for or against someone isn’t doing as much good as you think. Unless you’re an activist involved in politics for your party, friends, relatives or coworkers are the only ones you are campaigning to. Sure if you have friends supporting things that really offend you why waste too much time trying to convert them to your way of thinking? You may just waste time, raise your stress levels, and end up losing a friend anyway.
Furthermore, expressing to harsh opinions is going to cause work related problems that your boss may be the one you are really stressing out. And that could hurt you career!
Now for relatives with differing or downright offensive views this is the toughest. You can get new friends and you can change jobs but your relatives will always be your relatives. The only thing I can think of is just walling that part off. When they come out with offensive ideas, but state you need to push that off you can say that you don’t want to talk about it. Are you this person’s mother or father? If not, just tell the person you disagree and express the fact you can’t discuss it. Hopefully in time, people will change and moderate their views. But is it really your job to be their thought police? We’ve all been through this in recent years. Maybe you’re lucky and all your friends, coworkers, and relatives think like you. It’s more likely not the case. Trying to fight those battles are pointless and just stress everyone out. Remember they are probably as offended your “wild” (in their eyes) views.
My mom was told to watch FOX News for five minutes by one relative and still talks about that years later.
In the tumultuous dance of words and actions, we find ourselves caught between ideals and reality. Practicing what we preach seems a straightforward concept, but prove elusive. The political circus, personal beliefs, and the constant barrage of information can challenge our consistency and integrity.
As we navigate this complex landscape, let us remember a few key takeaways:
Self-Reflection: Pause and reflect on your own actions. Are you truly living up to the principles you advocate? Acknowledge the gaps and strive for alignment.
Avoid Hypocrisy: Hypocrisy erodes trust. If you condemn a behavior in others, hold yourself to the same standard. Consistency breeds authenticity.
Choose Battles Wisely: Not every battle is worth fighting. In politics, at work, or within families, consider whether your energy is well-spent. Sometimes silence speaks louder than heated debates.
Embrace Change: People evolve. Be open to growth and allow others the same privilege. Avoid being the thought police; instead, encourage respectful dialogue.
Let’s commit to practicing what we preach instead of just grand gestures, but in everyday choices. Whether it’s standing up for our beliefs or admitting our own imperfections, consistency matters. As we navigate this intricate dance, let’s strive for integrity and inspire others to do the same.
Remember: Words echo, but actions resonate.
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