Monday, May 26, 2008

Curious about Sincerity: How Sincere Are You? And, Do Others Value Your Sincerity?

Definition of Sincerity: The quality or state of being sincere; honesty of mind or intention; freedom from simulation, hypocrisy, disguise, or false pretense; sincereness.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” - Douglas Adams, English writer

Earlier I wrote a blog with the theme of skepticism and cynicism, mainly because there is such an abundance of “hype” everywhere. We don’t know whom to trust. How do we determine if others – especially over the Internet – are sincere? I know that I have my list of those gurus I trust and will buy from. And, just because others are singing the praises of the next “earth-shattering” program, I wait before I will plop down my credit card.

How do you decide if someone is sincere? It is a bit easier when we meet them face-to-face in person, but still can be a bit of a mystery. How sincere are you? If we do marketing and/or selling, we must be careful not to be in such a hurry that we appear as “pushy.”

I think you will enjoy and be surprised by some of the quotations from our experts. General thoughts are:
  • If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity.” - Xun Zi, Chinese philosopher
  • The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists.” - Erwin Schrodinger, Austrian scientist
  • True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt.” - Garth Brooks, American musician
  • The secret of success is sincerity.” - Jean Giraudoux, French dramatist
  • Economy is the basis of society. When the economy is stable, society develops. The ideal economy combines the spiritual and the material, and the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love.” - Morihei Ueshiba, Japanese athlete
  • Sincerity and competence is a strong combination. In politics, it is everything.” - Peggy Noonan, American writer

And, as always, there are quotations with a twist:

  • My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of other pessimists.” - Jean Rostand, French scientist
  • A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” - Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist
  • For a creative writer possession of the "truth" is less important than emotional sincerity.” - George Orwell, British author
  • You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.” - Fred Allen, American comedian
  • Sincerity is impossible, unless it pervade the whole being, and the pretence of it saps the very foundation of character.” - James Russell Lowell, American poet

My two favorites for the week (interesting that they are both Chinese philosophers):

There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.” – Mencius, Chinese philosopher

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Have a sincerely productive week!