When I got together with my girlfriend when we were 13 years old, people used to ask us if we kissed or made out, and be horrified when we said yes. Many thought we were immoral- succumbing to adolescent lust and idealistic fantasies about what love was. I would face this moralistic antagonism throughout my teenage years.

Initially, I lived with it. I figured that perhaps they were right, and I was simply too liberal to be comfortably integrated into a conservative society. Back then, I actually thought that our generation must have been unusually conservative! Obviously, I was wrong. Many of my friends who were so scandalized at my young relationship would later start clubbing before they were old enough to, indulge in underage sex, smoking, drinking, tattoos, piercings, drug abuse- you name it, and I can name someone younger than me who's done it.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing. If you want to get yourself wasted and wake up every weekend with a different stranger and a bad hangover, be my guest. I will not judge you. In fact, some of the wildest people I know turn out to be my closest friends- and they are absolutely fine with the fact that my idea of a fun Saturday night is playing chess at the void deck with my friends, drinking milo peng and having to give the police our ID because we we laugh too hard and disturb the peace.

So what am I getting at? I can tolerate all sorts of behavior- if you and your sister have a mutually consensual sexual relationship and you don't hurt anybody else in the process, I honestly think that's totally fine. What I cannot tolerate is the resounding hypocrisy that so many of us casually accept and comfortably adopt. Guys who sleep around but want their girlfriends to be virgins. Girls who wear revealing clothes and complain about unwanted attention. Parents who drink or smoke, and harshly discipline their children for doing the same. People who have expectations that apply to others but not themselves.

If you are guilty of double standards, please, for the sake of everybody who has to bear with you, do some soul-searching. Our sense of self-worth thrives on the approval of friends, family and people who we trust and value. How do you sleep at night with the knowledge that you wouldn't respect yourself? How then, do you have any right to judge anybody else? Imposing your morality on others is terrible enough- doing it when you don't even practice what you preach is the most despicable thing of all. (And Americans who undermine democracy halfway around the world wonder why people there are willing to blow themselves up to kill them.) While our most brilliant minds struggle to achieve universal ideals and standards, the world would really become a much better place if we all just lived up to our own.

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