They say that the fear of ridicule breeds the most repugnant of cowards. So then the most repugnant of cowards must surely breed the most despicable of hypocrites. And I fail to see how hypocrites can be happy or fulfilled people.
I find that so many times we’re too willing to sacrifice what we want for ourselves under the guise of being martyrs for the greater good. But that greater good is rarely subscribed to by those for whom we claim to pursue it. Yet our self-pity, or is that self-destructiveness (read cowardice) prompts us along that very same path that robs us of our own peace or happiness, all the while convincing ourselves that we’re doing it to make someone dear to us happy, which should inevitably make us happy.
But it doesn’t. Because rarely, if ever, does anyone reciprocate such sacrifices. If they do, it’s usually for someone else that they’re also trying to please or ‘make happy’ and as a result, we end up in a vicious cycle of unfulfilled aspirations of securing the love and adoration, if not at least appreciation of those we deem deserving of our sacrifices, only to discover that we’ve lost the essence of ourselves in the process while they were trying to please someone else.
I’ve always believed that we act out of duty rather than conviction when the guilty martyr in us triumphs over our courage to be true to ourselves and just to our souls. There’s less risk in having to face the consequences of a bad decision that may leave us exposed or vulnerable, and infinitely more cowardly comfort in the knowledge that if someone betrays us, we can blame them for their dishonesty and feel justifiable pity for ourselves. Justifiable or not, that pity will never leave us feeling fulfilled, loved, or appreciated. It will leave us seeking fulfilment from others, and we will disguise that yearning as willing sacrifices for those we love, but it will never bring us any closer to being true to ourselves.
There’s a fine line between being selfish enough to sustain our own soul’s desires, and sacrificing enough to selflessly contribute to the life experiences of others. Being human lies somewhere between being a narcissist and a martyr. And hypocrisy has no part to play at all.