It's Easy to Judge a Hypocrite (Part 1)

I’ll be totally honest here.
The hardest person in the world to respect is a hypocrite.

If I see someone acting holy in public, and then that same person acts like a holy terror in private, my respect for that person immediately tanks about as low as it can go.
However, I have a tale to tell that’s made me reconsider that tendency. You know how I love telling stories. This one is based a true story from history.

Way back, in the times of kings and queens, there was a common man and a princess.
Actually though, the man wasn’t so common. He was a fighter in the service of the king, a very good fighter. The princess saw this man often in the royal court, and she couldn’t help but admire his bravery, not to mention his ruddy good looks.
One day, word got around to the king that his daughter had a crush on his servant. This made the king angry.
You see, the king was jealous of the fighter’s popularity in the realm lately. And now his “little girl” had fallen for the man, too.
After a while of brewing and stomping around, the king suddenly came up with a devious plan.
People do anything for love, right? So he’d pitch the fighter against the vicious barbarians overrunning his kingdom in place of a dowry of silver.
The fighter was thrilled with the plan. He wasted no time going and conquering the barbarians, then he brought back the proof to the king with his head held high.
The fighter and the princess were married in a beautiful, royal ceremony, and all the young women of the kingdom cried in disappointment and jealousy.

However, the two didn’t ride into the crimson sunset and live happily ever after. 
No… the king was furious about his new son-in-law. He seethed in jealousy over the situation. He knew his daughter and kingdom loved the man, but he didn’t love him, he hated him.
Murder grew in his heart. He hired assassins against the fighter. The mercenaries went to the fighter’s house and surrounded it in the night, lying in wait until morning.
However, the princess noticed the mercenaries. She went to her husband and told him what was happening, she pleaded with him to run instead of fight this time.
So he did. The princess let him out a window and distracted the assassins so that her beloved could get away. She hoped that he would be able to come back soon, or at least send for her.
But no… the fighter became a vagabond, an enemy of the crown, and a tramp.

Years passed. Years…
The love between the princess and the fighter grew cold.
Why doesn’t he send for me? Why doesn’t he rescue me? she wondered as the nights grew long.
News came from afar. The fighter had joined a club of rabble rousers. He had even married another woman. A beautiful woman that he had supposedly rescued from an evil husband.
That was it for the princess. The fighter had forgotten about her, she would forget about him.
Her father, the king, saw her pining away. He also saw that one of his courtiers, a good man, seemed to always be watching her with sadness in his eyes.
One day he had a conversation with the courtier, the next day he had a conversation with the princess.
“Darling… the fighter has left you. He’s even married another! He’s a tramp, and not good enough for you. Here… there’s a man who loves you here in the court. Do you want to marry him?”
The princess picked up her chin and looked. There was the man, a good one, a steady one, one that was loyal and wouldn’t leave her.
So she married him.

More years passed. The princess was happy with her new husband. He helped her forget her short, emotional marriage to the fighter.
Then a terrible day came. The king was killed in a battle with the barbarians. The princess’ brother assumed the crown. He didn’t become king over the entire realm though. Many of the nobles had shifted their allegiance to the old hero from long ago, the princess' ex-husband, the fighter. There was a civil war brewing.
Then, the new king made a mistake. He accused his most powerful general of misconduct. The general, in a fit of rage, left the royal court and went to join the fighter’s league of rowdy nobles.
Things weren’t looking good for the noble family.
Not long after that, royal soldiers banged down the door of the princess’ house. Her husband tried to fight them, but they pushed him away.
“We’ve come for the princess!” they declared. “The soon-to-be-king wants his wife back! Her brother says that he can have her.”
“But… she’s married to me!” her husband replied.
“She was married to him first. Come on!”
The soldiers grabbed the princess. Years and years ago, she would have been thrilled at the knowledge that her first husband wanted her back, but now… black dread filled her soul as she screamed and screamed.
“He’s forgotten me! He’s married another woman! Why would he want me again?!”
The men drug her outside and slung her up onto one of the waiting horses. She recognized the former general of her brother’s army there, waiting.
“What does the fighter want with me?!” she demanded.
“You’re an important piece to winning the kingdom,” he told her.
“It’s a power play?!”
“Sorry, darling. Such is war.” The general looked forward and spurred his horse onward.

The princess’ second husband followed the horses, crying for his wife, all the way to the next town.
“Please let me bring her back with me! This isn’t right! He can have any other woman in the kingdom!”
The general pulled him aside and talked to him. The man looked at the princess one last time, then he left, brokenhearted.
Twice, the princess had been abandoned by the men that she loved. Her heart grew cold and heavy in her chest as she looked forward and decided to never love again.

Click here to read the rest of this story, and the conclusion of my point about hypocrisy.

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