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, and I, unfortunately, 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. People who don't back up their words or what they say they believe in with any substance, or even worse, their actions actually contradict their claims. People we might 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 these kinds of people. It’s because I’m oftentimes a hypocrite myself!
Now, I would like to report to you that at the very moment I realized this truth, I immediately stopped all my judging and griping, but that would be a very misleading and disingenuous statement. However, I can tell you that this revelation certainly changed me! I feel that knowing this about myself has helped me become better at not judging others for their hypocrisy. Instead, I’m now able look in the mirror and see my own.
Despite being a hypocrite, God still loves and accepts me. And if I know that to be true, then I should stop being so frustrated and angry at all these other people I find so hypocritical. I can treat them with the same love and patience God has graciously always shown 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."