Sincerity, like bravery, isn’t a trait we proclaim. I can claim my gender, my age, my education even my intelligence. I can declare my religion and give evidence of my tithe. I can show you my voters’ registration card as proof of my citizenship. Having an education doesn’t guarantee I am smart or have a gram of common sense. The world is filled with derelict geniuses. Church attendance isn’t proof of faith or humility. Citizenship does mean you are patriotic. Character is proven through trial. One cannot assume a police officer is helpful or a doctor is sympathetic or a priest is kind or a grandmother is friendly. And just because someone says they are confident or energetic or sincere doesn’t count for much. It requires evidence. And other people have no way of knowing I am empathetic or generous or silly until they observe me, share space and time with me. There is no resume for character traits.

Sincerity is at its most basic an earnestness. Sincerity is no particularly nice or even diplomatic. It is just plain, simple, honesty. No deception or spin. Sincerity is an open genuineness that rings true like a perfectly cast bell. Insincerity rings flat like a bell cracked.

I am at my core an earnest person. I am sincere and frank, open, probably to a fault. I am too exposed at times and therefore I’d make a horrible politician or PTA president. I am just not capable of deception. I wish I was capable of concealing my feelings and thoughts. What I have mastered is simply keeping my mouth shut. I can’t refrain from engaging in a discourse so as to not be confrontational. But most people who know me can tell I am holding my tongue. And they know I am not being honest with myself. If I am to be a genuine person, honest with myself and true at my core, I must be willing to be straight forward and not fret over what other people think. As long as I am not being mean spirited or cruel, I can be assured I am sincere. You can be assured I am sincere.

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