"Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there."
~Eric Hoffer, Passionate State of Mind, 1955
I wish more people understood the profoundness of this quote. It does not excuse, nor is it justification for, but sometimes I believe it is important to look deeper into a person in order to understand some of the mistakes and choices they've made. In the long run, it is up to the individual to embark on a journey in order to get to the heart of the why and how of the choices and mistakes they've made. Until that realization takes place, the pretenses will continue to be their truth for the emptiness they do not understand or know how to face. Often times, those pretenses aren't a conscious choice. It is what one has come to know, something to cover the fears, a wanting to be something worthy in another's eyes. It is easy to believe that the intent was malicious, but looking deeper in the heart will show, that is not always the case. It is not about trusting another enough with who you are. When you have been so let down and broken by those that you have trusted, why should one believe that this person will be different? Yes, we are all responsible for our mistakes and choices. Yes, it is up to us individually to hold ourselves accountable. But only with understanding, is that even possible. Until then, those pretenses become our protection mechanisms for something so much greater than those who want to blame, or think they know, can comprehend. Do not be so quick to reject the good that you thought you knew, and saw, in a person. I can almost guarantee that if you take the time to understand them, their hurts, their reasons....compassion will ensue.