Does Being A Different Person Than You Once Were Make You A Hypocrite?
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Politics and Activism

Does Being A Different Person Than You Once Were Make You A Hypocrite?

People are human, and they change, and that's okay.

Does Being A Different Person Than You Once Were Make You A Hypocrite?

I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago, one year ago, or even a month ago, and chances are neither are you. People change every day, even if we don't realize it. From day to day, we seem like the same person, but from year to year, we're completely different. How fortunate we are as human beings to be mutable and have the ability to change and evolve into better versions of ourselves. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy that I'm not the same person I was in eighth grade *insert horror flashbacks of green and hot pink polka dotted bags, zebra print bedding, and burnt-straight, flat-ironed hair.*

However, while changes in appearances are fortunate and funny/embarrassing to look back on, they aren't the important changes. The important changes are the ones made to yourself, your personality and, mainly, your beliefs. This leads to my main point: are you a hypocrite if you don't believe in the same things you vehemently believed in just a few years ago? No, I don't believe you are.

I attended a private Christian school for almost 10 years. For a long time, I believed what seemingly everyone else around me believed. I was, for the most part, what you could consider to be a "good Baptist" except I didn't attend church as regularly as most. As little as just three or four years ago, I was a Conservative, Christian, pro-life, anti-LGBT rights teenager. Today, I'm a Liberal, agnostic, pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights 20-year-old feminist.

What happened? I grew up. I educated myself. I left high school, went to college, and for the first time was able to form my own opinions that didn't stem from the beliefs that were forced down my throat. Questions about what I "believed" in, or thought I believed in, that I was never able to ask, I was finally able to ask. For the first time in my life I was able to find out what my beliefs were, and they were very different from what I had held as beliefs earlier.

I went from saying, "I'll always vote Republican" to, "I never want to have to vote Republican." I went from being adamant in my faith, to walking away from religion. I went from the mindset of women should submit to their husbands and abortion is always wrong to being a fierce feminist who fights for the rights of women and their bodies. I went from being completely against LGBT rights to being not just an ally, but one of the officers for the GSA on our campus, an organization I care deeply about and whose rights I will fight for as long as I am able. All these 180 degree changes happened in just a couple of years. People who used to know me in high school would say I'm completely different, and people who know me now, probably wouldn't believe I was so different under 5 years ago.

Does that make me a hypocrite? Does it make me hypocritical that I fought staunchly for such different beliefs just a short time ago? No, no it doesn't. I changed.People change.

I think it would be hypocritical if I denied ever having different beliefs, if I claimed I was always the person I am today, when I wasn't. It would also be hypocritical if I claimed to support two completely different things at the same time depending on the person I'm talking to. But that's not what I'm doing. I admit that I had very different beliefs, and I admit that through time and being able to explore and find myself, that I developed new beliefs that I believe much more accurately reflect who I am as a person.

I'm not proud of the beliefs I held before, but I don't regret them either because they helped me get to where I am today. Yes, I've changed a lot, and my views are much different than they once were. However, that doesn't make me hypocritical. So, if you see or meet someone who claims to believe something different than what you know they once did, don't jump to conclusions. Change doesn't mean you're a hypocrite; it just means you're human.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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