The Disappearance of Sincerity

A loaded blog about being true to your word

This blog has been a long-time coming.

I generally don’t like writing about human behavior, as oftentimes it can be construed as superficial or a mundane internet vent session. But there are certain subjects I feel are very important and many share my sentiments on.

Here’s my question: What ever happened to sincerity?

Are we completely past the days when a handshake solidified a promise as true and well-founded as a written contract? Or how about when plans at 7 actually meant plans at 7? Or following through after offering to teach someone a new skill, a bed to sleep on while traveling or help in finding a new job?

I hate to generalize, but far too often it seems when given someones word, it evaporates as quickly as mist with the rising sun when we reach out or follow up. But why? Could it be the modern age of technology has somehow allowed us to be less accountable, or that text messaging facilitates evasiveness? My overuse of questions clearly means I don’t have any good answers, so I would love for my readers to weigh in by commenting below.

A while back I had someone tell me I’m a very serious person. I’ve never really thought of myself as so. If you think I’m serious, you’ve never seen me jam to Shakira or shamelessly squawk out Christmas songs while jingling a bell for the Salvation Army. Sometimes the most ridiculous things come out of my mouth simply to evoke laughter from those around me, because laughter and happiness and joy is a beautiful thing.

Personality-wise, I’m not serious. But I take people seriously, and I expect to be taken seriously. I take them for their word, and trust that what they say is what they will do. A promise is a promise, and an apology is an apology – neither should have coercive motives or deceptive intentions.

Why do people lack sincerity? I guess that’s as elusive of a question as asking why people lie and cheat and steal and kill. A few reasons could be the absence of compassion, doubt, seeking power or fear of being powerless, selfishness or not holding yourself accountable. Or maybe I’m going too deep, and need to realize that superficiality is far too common.

The blaring message in all of this is not the initial hurt of deceit or surprise of realizing someone is insincere – it’s the long-term consequence. Because the saddest result of insincerity is that it causes us to be distrustful of others.

So the next time you offer someone something – your hand, your time, your advice, your house, step back and ask yourself, “Do I really mean it?”

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