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There is no objective reality. We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.

Sean was filling out a university questionnaire to help determine roommate compatibility. Beside the questions, “Do you make your bed every day?” and “Do you consider yourself a neat person?” he checked “Yes.” Later his mother reviewed the questionnaire. Knowing those answer were far from the truth, she asked Sean why he’d lied. “What do you expect me to do?” he retorted. “I don’t want to get stuck living with some slob!”

The gap between what we say we value and how we live can get pretty big. This hypocrisy could be because I am trying to fool others. Some people don’t try to do what’s right, they try to guess what other people think is right. For example, when someone says it’s not about the money, but the principle of the thing….. it’s usually about the money. The manager of a large bookstore once told me that the book they have stolen the most is the Bible. Hypocrites climb the social, organizational, or career ladder the wrong by wrong while trying to justify, excuse, or disguise their behaviour. Like Mae West in Klondike Annie, when choosing between two evils, they pick the one they haven’t tried before.

More often hypocrisy is because I am fooling myself. I am not being true to me. I am not authentic. Lack of authenticity often stems from lack of awareness of the values or beliefs that are really at the core of who I am. When we’re not centered with a solid core, change is often a threat. It’s also harder to acculate the positive choices that vaccinate us against the Victimitis Virus and keeps us from living in Pity City. Lacking a firm focal point, passion is weak and commitment is soft. Without a strong set of core values we’re more likely to lead our lives from the outside in rather than the inside out. A centred leader grows his or her inner space and provides spirit and meaning to others.

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