Sincerity, it’s such a lonely word, everyone is so insincere. Sincerity, it’s hardly ever heard, and mostly what I need from you… Billy Joel – with the word Sincerity replacing Honesty
This word is important. It is, in fact, one of the most important words in Taoist thinking. It is the first step that a person takes on the broad plain road of Taoism. Without sincerity, the first step is already on the wrong path.
The Central Harmony
In dealing with people, we already have the perfect model
of behavior inside us. Just act sincerely, in accordance
with your true nature. Do not do to others what you would
not want done to you.
Confucius said: “Sincerity is the way of heaven; arriving
at sincerity is the way of man. The sincere person does
the right thing without trying, understands the truth
without thinking, and acts always in keeping with the Tao.”
Sincerity is the fulfillment of our own nature, and
to arrive at it we need only follow our true self.
Sincerity is the beginning and end of existence; without
it, nothing can endure. Therefore the mature person values
sincerity above all things.
Sincerity is not only the fulfillment of our own being;
it is also the quality through which all beings are fulfilled.
When we fulfill our own being, we become truly human;
when we fulfill all beings, we arrive at true understanding.
These qualities — humanity and understanding — are inherent
in our nature, and by means of them we unite the inner and
the outer. Thus, when we act with sincerity, everything we
do is right.
Pretty powerful stuff, eh? The part that says ‘Do NOT do to others what you would NOT want done to you’ sounds so very Christian-like, except that I prefer to think and act this NOT way. After all, how many proselytizers do you know knock on your door every weekend, handing out pamphlets and flyers, trying to get you to go to a revival meeting at their church, and just-won’t-take-NO!-for-an-answer because they are mortally afraid for your soul and want to save you from yourself? They are acting from a sincere stance of wanting to DO to you what they would want for you to DO to them, whether you like it or not.
However, if you take it in the opposite stance, it’s live and let live. Don’t hurt folks because you don’t want to be hurt. Don’t cheat, lie, steal, and demoralize others because you don’t want the same to happen to you.
I like that. Sincerity in the form of NOT DOING, as opposed to DOING.
I also especially liked the part that says ‘when we act with sincerity, everything we do is right.‘ I would love to always be right. Unfortunately, I am often wrong. What does that tell you about my sincerity level?
To be fair, I try my best to be sincere in all I do. Dragging myself out of work and being polite to rude people is hard, but I try to be sincere… honestly I try…