In college, I had a residence hall adviser who loved playing practical jokes and encouraged others to do the same.
Naturally, we felt he would be the welcome recipient of similar pranks. However, when we leaned a water-filled garbage can against his door, we found out in a hurry he was neither a fan of his newly wet carpet nor a man of two-way streets.
He enjoyed dishing out pranks but wasn't able to laugh when the tables turned.
Was he a hypocrite?
Sadly, we've heard promises during political campaigns that somehow fall by the wayside after election, leaving us scratching our bewildered heads.
The seven basketball-oriented schools leaving the Big East Conference to form their own league have been hypocritically accused of departing for the sake of greener financial pastures.
Haven't quite a few football schools been conference-hopping over the last few years in an attempt to make more money?
I've had a finger or two pointed in my direction because people feel I don't practice what I preach in my columns.
The word hypocrite comes across as a dirty word, but in my opinion, is used very loosely and incorrectly.
The truest definition of hypocrisy is expressing certain beliefs but knowingly never believing them.
I truly believe in everything I write, but I'll be the first to concede I'm not perfect and still a work in progress. I've admitted it before and I'll do it again, I write my columns as much for me as I do for anyone who'll read them, but that doesn't make me a hypocrite.
It makes me human.
People pointing judgmental fingers need to make sure they're cleaning up their house as they criticize others.
The NCAA is a good example of organized finger pointing as they try to keep all athletic programs clean. However, there are times when their punishments send mixed messages, like the case of the 2010 Ohio State football players being caught for trading memorabilia for tattoos. The NCAA suspended them for five games, but not until the start of the 2011 season so all players could participate in that year's Sugar Bowl for optimal fan appeal and more revenue.
The toughest pill to swallow is accusers not allowing anyone room to change.
Early in Ray Lewis' career he was present at the time of a crime, but he'll readily admit he made poor decisions at that time in his life. I believe he's a positively changed person trying to help others be the same. He's a good man now and the crime is in the past. That doesn't make him a hypocrite.
Michael Vick made horrendous decisions as well, but sometimes people need to hit rock bottom before they realize a change is necessary.
Unfortunately, different standards of right and wrong are often enacted to determine judgment, and that makes public scrutiny difficult.
We mustn't overlook wrong behavior, but the avoidance of judging others through stained glass will produce less hypocrisy for us all.