Understanding Sincerity

Sincerity: — the quality of being open and truthful; not deceitful or hypocritical.
WordNet 2.0

Synonyms: artlessness, bona fides, candor, earnestness, frankness, genuineness, good faith, goodwill, guilelessness, heart, honor, impartiality, innocence, justice, openness, probity, reliability, seriousness, sincereness, singleness, trustworthiness, truth, truthfulness, veracity, wholeheartedness.
Antonym: dishonesty, insincerity, untrustworthiness.
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  • Sincerity is feeling — free of deceit and hypocrisy
  • Sincerity is a quality — of genuineness
  • Sincerity is a state of being — honesty of intention or mind
  • Sincerity is freedom — from simulation, disguise or false pretense
  • Sincerity is a trait — of being truthful and open

Benefits of Sincerity

  • Sincerity provides purity — there is an open truthfulness that remains trustworthy, unblemished and pure.
  • Sincerity provides safety — with trust that sincerity yields, all those who come in contact with it, rest calm and secure in its protective care.
  • Sincerity provides serenity — it its simplicity and natural way of being.
  • Sincerity provides acceptance — with purity and innocence we are free to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are.
  • Sincerity provides honor — respect based on their honesty and pride in their word.

Acts of Sincerity in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — It is the people with the purest of heart and sincerest of intentions who receive the grace of God. As we find written in Psalms 32:2 "Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."
  • Self-honesty — There is little hope in ever achieving true peace of mind without developing the habit of being rigorously honest with ourselves; about both our weaknesses and our strengths.
  • Justice for all — Every witness called upon to testify in a court of law still, to this day, is required to place their hand upon a Bible and swear on the sincerity of their testimony before God and fellow-man.
  • Confrontation — Although something we may find difficult at first, in order to live with sincerity, it is most important that we learn how to say what we mean, mean what we say, and not say it mean.
  • Positive Parenting — Spend time, regularly reading stories to children that exemplify honesty and sincerity. Model these behaviors so they incorporate these behaviors into their everyday lives.

Methods for Achieving Sincerity

  • Daily Progress — Make time each day for solitude in which to review the day with an honest self-appraisal and self-assessment. Where did we demonstrate sincerity and integrity? Where do we need improvement and practice?
  • Meditation — By seeking serenity we connect with inner guidance and direction in what is honest, right and just.
  • Practice Consistency — Develop the habit of acting the same way no matter where you are or who you are with. Be yourself — never try and be something or someone you are not.
  • Learn to let go of Neediness — Sincerity comes from purity of heart and intention, neither of which can occur if you focus on things you want and cannot have.

Golden Mean

Dishonesty, Hypocrisy

Quotes for Sincerity

Sincerity is the way of heaven.
- Confucius -
Sincerity is the key which will open the door through which you will see your separate parts, and you will see something quite new. You must go on trying to be sincere. Each day you put on a mask, and you must take it off little by little.
- G.I. Gurdjieff -
Sincerity, even if it speaks with a stutter, will sound eloquent when inspired.
- Eiji Yoshikawa -

Recommended Reading

Life, and How to Survive it — by Robyn Skinner and John Cheese

A very solid journey toward emotional health and well-being. Skinner and Cheese have provided a strength-based, user-friendly book involving a great section on honesty and sincerity.

Radical Honesty, The New Revised Edition: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth — by Brad Blanton

Very appropriately titled look at strong, harsh honesty and how one can change from being fundamentally dishonest. This book is not pretty, and it focuses on honesty for personal reasons rather than for honesty's sake.

I'm Telling the Truth: A First Look at Honesty — by Pat Thomas

This is part of the "A First Look" series of virtues and values for young children. Although recommended for very young children, the concept of honesty and sincerity as portrayed here may be more appreciated by children in kindergarten and even a grade or two beyond. Most definitely, a book to help with positive parenting.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Sincerity and competence is a strong combination. Peggy Noonan