A symbol of hypocrisy.

Yesterday, I watched a heated exchange between neighbors that resulted in them both walking away wearing disgruntled expressions. This disagreement stemmed from a large colorful flag displayed on one neighbor’s lawn, which offended the other neighbor who proudly displayed their own semi-monochromatic flag. Although I couldn’t hear the whole conversation, I gathered the gist of the discussion by the fervent pointing by both neighbors at the flags. I thought it funny that they were each pointing at the other flag, which brought my attention to that flag. I realized that, like my neighbors, we often like to point out hypocrisies in others while disregarding this inherent quality within ourselves.

For instance, we call ourselves patriots but put insignia over a distinct symbol of our nation.

We proudly defend our history but only the version with which we are comfortable.

We adhere to speed limits and lines formed in grocery check-outs but call others sheep.

We say we value community but don’t want to support our neighbors.

We call ourselves religious but forget to practice tolerance.

We say we want liberty but can’t define it.

We are specialists in subjects which we have no experience but pay for the recommendations of professionals.

We consider opposition to our belief’s threats while personally threatening people because of their beliefs.

Ultimately, when we point out the hypocrisy of others while failing to recognize our own, we are just emboldening their ideas at the cost of ours.

A few days after witnessing this exchange between my neighbors, I noted each had some new additions to their lawn décor. — Molly McCabe, Davison Township