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Thread: "Practice What You Preach"

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    "Practice What You Preach"

    Here is another common saying, that we must "practice what we preach". How much validity do you think this saying has? Is it necessary for every person who "preaches" to be a practicant of the things they preach?

    For example, Hitler decided not to have any children of his own, but spoke frequently about the importance of having German children and rewarded families with numerous children. Some peoples accused him of hypocrisy because of that. Or there was a campaign against smoking but some politicians in Germany smoked nonetheless. You could exemplify in other ways if you want. But the bottom line is, if someone doesn't practice himself what he preaches, is it hypocrisy in your view, or could it be excused, if the outcome of the "preachers" is a positive one? Does the outcome have more importance than the consistency of the person who "preaches"? To me, the outcome is the most important of all. But I'll elaborate in a further posting later. What are your morals on this theme?

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    Senior Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Personally, I think a person is what they do, not what they say. I know alot of excellent folk who are not well educated or articulate but they conduct themselves with honor. You may not hear them wax eloquent on the subject but their actions speak volumes.

    So yes I do think it important to "practice what you preach", both for exemplary value to others as well as to your own reputation/credibility.

    But I will qualify that by saying that we are all human and must have a capacity, to a reasonable degree to forgive. Because the loftier and more noble the ideals the higher the chances are of falling short of those ideals, try as we might. So I think we should acknowledge human shortcomings while lauding individuals who despite that high chance of failure struggle toward a noble aim.

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    Just say for instance, you where a drug addict, it was ruining your life, but you couldnt give it up.
    Now if you told everyone, "dont do drugs, look what its done to me", are you being a hypocrite for not practising what you preach?, should you keep quiet and let your friends discover for themselves why the shouldnt get addicted to drugs?

    There are exceptions to every rule.

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    Words are Cheap!

    What gives our Words Strength is Our Deeds, our Actions.

    There are many hypocritical preachers who can not control their own actions. They frequent prostitutes, male or female. Yet they preach morality.
    Yeah, anyone can have a "moment of weakness". One! But to preach one thing and live contrary to that is gross hypocricy.

    There's a book called, "We Are Our Deeds". There is worth in that.
    It is how I do my very best to live my life.

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    actions speak louder than words

    there is a Heathen code of conduct that I personally like, and fully understand why in this culture, organized Christianity had little or no effect.
    VALUES AND CODES OF CONDUCT

    For the ancient Latvians and the modern-day Dievturi, the meaning and purpose of life is to live in harmony with the repeating rhythms of Nature (this includes all the gods — even Dievs himself!) and other members of society. This means that a harmonious life is self-justifying — there is no meaning beyond life itself.

    The attitude toward life is positive and optimistic (until fairly recently!). One strives for the possession of virtue(s), not the avoidance of sin(s). In fact, the concept of sin is foreign to the dainas.

    Life's most basic purpose is to be good. This unwritten imperative implies that if everyone were good, there would be no room for evil or bad luck. All of the virtues guiding one's conduct can be broken down into three categories: (i) the virtues of life and Dievs, (ii) the basic self-ethics or virtues for oneself and (iii) the communal ethics, or the basic virtues as they relate to others.

    The two virtues in the first category admonish: Be good! and Be reverential and full of awe for Dievs! The entire code of ethics for the ancient Latvians was positive in tone. One was basically taught what to do and what to be, not what not to do and be.

    The four fundamental virtues for self-enhancement and behavior are: Be wise! Be diligent/active! Be beautiful, clean and orderly! and Be cheerful! Wisdom includes the awareness of good things and values, an understanding of goals and purposes. And only wisdom can determine proper behavior toward self, others and Dievs. The virtue of work leads to success both in the mental and material world. Many a daina states that Dievs will not enter a homestead that is not orderly, clean and cheerful.

    The last category of virtues are virtues of compatibility: Be full of love! Be easy to live with! Be generous! and Be just! These four virtues provided directives for the Latvians in their interactions with relatives, neighbors, strangers and other clans/nations.

    Evil in the Christian sense does not exist as a functional concept. One simply speaks of bad fortune and not living with the dictates of the above virtues. The source of bad things happening is caused by man himself. Nature and the world, including all the calamities, is basically neutral — it simply is. Man determines what to do with it, for better or worse.
    http://www.lituanus.org/1987/87_3_06.htm
    when a culture like this exemplifies the greatest Law of God, can it be improved by an organization?

    Matt 22:39-40
    39 "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
    40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
    (NAS)

    unless your individual character and conduct and display of Love is above reproach,
    How will you ever influence anyone, be a role model show a different and attractive way to live.

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    I don't think it is possible to allways practice everything you preach. However you should try to. Practice what you preach is a goal and we should try to get as close as possible.

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    Be the change you want! I aim to practice my ideals and be true to them. Your primary obligation is to be true to yourself.

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    If I take a look back in how Hitler operated and what loved and where his joys were, I am given the impression that ALL Germans were his children. Ie, he was the 'father' of his people. So respectfully, you couldn't want anything better than that of a leader. Someone who believes every good citizen is his very own flesh and blood.

    Imagine if OUR current leaders behaved like that! I think we'd all be very happy, safe and secure then.

    So I don't think it's a matter of practice what you preach in this instance. He probably would have lost some of his focus to fix up Germany if he would have had kids of his own. Secondly, how much danger would they be in if he had them!? So, I reckon, considering, at that time, at that moment, it would have been extremely difficult for someone with that much heart to put aside his nations affairs.

    Although, could you imagine what his kids would be like!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!

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    people who walk the walk and talk the talk get more respect, hypocrisy is not a virtue that i myself hold up high

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    It's not always possible to practice what you preach, however I believe in universal truth or absolutism. If a murderer says that murder is wrong, it doesn't make his point less valid because he is a murderer. Of course it makes a murderer a hypocrite to lecture others about not murdering, but the absolute truth remains, i.e. that murder is wrong.

    Then there are of course cases like Ralf Rossa mentioned, recovering drug addicts, ex-alcoholics etc. Sometimes it makes things seem more serious and real when we hear them directly from the wolf's mouth, and some people will only stop and think once they've seen the devastating consequences of recklessness. If someone who had their lives destroyed by a certain drug, alcohol, promiscuity or sexual deviancy and they repent and want to share their experience to warn others, then I don't believe them to be hypocrites. If someone who aborted their child ended up regretting it so much that they started anti-abortion campaigns of course they aren't morally superior, but their effort is still somewhat admirable. If someone who is infertile and cannot have children educates others about the importance of positive birth rates, their effort is still commendable.

    I guess in the end it really depends from what angle you look at it, whether you care about the person or about the idea. In a debate the focus would be on the idea. The person is subjective. On the other hand I don't like the holier-than-thou attitude either.
    "Tradition doesn't mean holding on to the ashes, it means passing the torch."
    - Thomas Morus (1478-1535)

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