A few weeks ago, I found myself nagging Karen (my wife) about spending money, and allowed it to escalate into a pretty big issue over the course of several weeks. Once it reached a head, it resolved itself pretty quickly (more on that in another post, about the need for partnership in relationships… that realization has made a big impact recently). Along the way, though, I realized that I’ve been the one generating some of the really big outflows (investments in TeachStreet, buying and selling fun cars, etc) while she spends money on smaller things (clothing, shoes, etc). The point is that I could have just as easily pointed the finger at myself, and by criticizing her, I was really doing just that. I thought about that in two other contexts lately.
First, there was the article about “Are homophobes gay?” that made the rounds on the web. It seems increasingly common that those who are the most critical of other groups end up being members of those groups in some way. We’ve seen it with Ted Haggard and others. Anytime I see someone far out on the extremes, I wonder about their motivation? And, on a larger scale, I’ve often discussed with Karen, why do some people care so strongly about topics such as allowing gay people to marry? It truly doesn’t impact them in any way. It just makes other people happy.
On a much smaller scale, I’ve been a member of many online and offline groups over the years. With online groups, rules inevitably crop up about who can post what, and how often. The other day, someone posted something self-promotional, and several people loudly popped up to shut down the atrocity. Then, a few days later, one of those people did exactly the same thing. When challenged, the answer was along the lines of ‘turnabout is fair play’.
Seems like some consistent themes. That those who try to impose the rules want to be above the same rules. Or something like that. So, stop criticizing yourself, Dave.