Check more than your privilege

“The guilty should get their just deserts.”

Well, dessert is the best part of the meal, so just desserts sounds pretty good to me. My hand’s up. Guilty!

If only. Wouldn’t it be great if owning one’s faults and moral failures was rewarded with cake? Alas, it is often rewarded with embarrassment and shame instead…liver and kale, if you will. And who wants that? So, hands stay down, lips that might confess stay closed. Move along now…nothing to see here.

At least choosing not to confess means you recognize you screwed up. It’s arguably worse to choose not to examine your own behavior to see if you indeed did behave badly. And it seems to me we’re all seeing a lot of this lately. Some news headline appears with a prima facie promise of dastardly dirt on someone on “the other side” and you tweet it, or retweet it, or like someone else’s self-righteous tweet about it. What you definitely don’t do is thoughtfully investigate for objective source material to determine if your hoped-for conclusion…i.e. he/she is a bigoted, homophobic, lying, Nazi-loving ne’re-do-well…is actually, accountably, accurate. Instead, you ignore the prompting of your conscience and jump all over that juicy morsel of malfeasance and share it with all of your friends.

And as you gleefully join in the mudfest you ignore your own muddy hands. As you heap guilt on your opponent you disregard the dirt falling on your own head. As you criticize, castigate, and condemn, you avoid every glass that might return a reflection because if you dared to look you’d see a big, muddy H on your forehead. Hypocrite.

hypocrisy | həˈpäkrəsē |

noun (plural hypocrisies)

the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform

Are we being intolerant of others we charge with intolerance? Do we hate those hateful others? Do we withhold empathy and kindness from those we accuse of being unfeeling and mean-spirited?

What a difference it would make in our political discourse if we all…and I do mean ALL…were more self-aware. Check your privilege? Okay, but check your behavior too. And your attitude, your prejudices, and your own moral failings.

And be willing to raise your hand when the guilty dessert tray comes around. Trust me…the satisfaction of a cleansed conscience is better than cake.