The climate crisis is growing and so are the protests. Gone are the days when tree huggers and Greenpeace were on the fringe, and as the movement picks up speed, the publicity brings out all the critics. Is there some merit to their cries of hypocrisy?
Calling all climate crisis hypocrites!
If you’re not walking everywhere, you’re a hypocrite. If you’re using plastic, you’re a hypocrite. If you don’t grow your own organic food, you guessed it, you’re a hypocrite. If you don’t make all your own clothes and buy them from well-paid local artisans, then you’re also a hypocrite. Do you ever have trash? Are you using air conditioning? Have you ever done anything out of convenience? Do you have kids? Do you even compost bro?
You guys. Guess what? We are ALL hypocrites; if perfection is the definition we’re going to use.
Since I’ve already established that perfection does NOT exist (sorry, not sorry), then those who have recently stood up against the present climate crisis are not necessarily hypocrites. Sure, there are probably some who are not making any changes at home, while they’re judging others for their lack of sustainable action. However, my best guess is that most of them are doing the best they can. Making incremental changes while also providing education and support for major social and political change. Stepping out despite their imperfections takes a lot of courage and shows that they’re willing to do the work that is required.
How do you avoid criticism?
To further my point, I wanted to discuss the definition of hypocrisy.
“Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence, in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham. Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another.”From Wikipedia, where I get all my scholarly research.
Personally, the criticism piece is the most important part of the definition. From where I’m sitting, the ones doing the most criticism are the ones sitting back and watching the climate protests and scoffing the efforts. Instead of doing something to help, they’re just using energy to complain that others aren’t doing enough.
As Aristotle said, the only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
Perfection is the enemy of progress.
To put a personal spin on this, I will not claim to be anywhere near perfect with my wardrobe choices. I sometimes shop out of convenience and Amazon is unfortunately REAL convenient for a mom of 3 who works 2 jobs. I travel and use plastic and sometimes even forget to recycle. GASP! In reality, I make mistakes. I’m not perfect. I get tired and I give up occasionally. Does this mean I shouldn’t reach my hand down to help others behind me come up the ladder? Should I not share my knowledge and what I’ve learned and let others stay unaware or let them struggle?
To me, this doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t make me a hypocrite either. I’m not giving a false appearance of virtue, or concealing my character. Most definitely, I am not criticizing others for where they are on this journey, either.
If we all waited around until the right moment or until things were perfect before we took action, literally nothing would get done. Perfection does not exist. Say it again for the people in the back – perfection is not an option.
So, let’s not wait until we are perfect to make some changes or educate others on what we know, okay? And can we also avoid criticizing those that are doing their best to make the world a better place? It’s okay that you have different priorities. We can worry about more than one problem at a time and can achieve way more if we together. Face it – there’s enough problems to go around. Let’s focus on what we can control and positive progress.
What do you say – are you with me?