Perseveration is "the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus.” It’s something that is commonly seen in someone who’s had a brain injury. Unfortunately, I was not spared of this irritating quality.
I’ve seen perseveration manifest itself in my life over the past few years in many different ways. One way, in particular, is that I tend to get fixated on something I find annoying, which then leads me to repeatedly putting myself on a proverbial soapbox and complaining about whatever is bothering me to whomever I can get to listen. The recipient of my speeches can really just be about anyone, but my very patient and understanding wife is typically the unlucky hearer of my seemingly endless rants.
The soapbox I’ve found myself up on for quite awhile now involves me expressing my frustration with people who are seemingly all talk, who don't back up their words or what they say they believe with any substance, or even worse, their actions actually contradict their claims. These are the same people whom we commonly refer to as hypocrites, posers, phonies, frauds, or fakers. But I think that I’ve now figured out the reason I’ve been so irritated by them. It’s because I’m a hypocrite myself!
Now, I would like to report to you that at the very moment I realized this, I immediately stopped all my judging and griping, but that would be a very misleading and disingenuous statement. However, I can tell you this revelation has certainly began to change me. Knowing this about myself is helping me to stop judging others for their hypocrisy and I’m starting to, instead, first look in the mirror and see my own.
Even though I’m a hypocrite, God still accepts me. And because I know this is true, I should stop being so frustrated and angry at all the other hypocrites and start treating them the same loving and patient way God has treated me!
"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."