Sincerity drives, fills up, feels, knows.
It is surprising how often I question a person's sincerity, their genuine motive behind a compliment, a question, an action, a word. I'm sure others do the same for me. They should.
I've been thinking back to a Thoreau quote lately from his book Walden, where he says "Rather than love, money, or fame, give me truth." (Sorry for any error - quoting from a flawed memory here) He goes on to say that he sat at a banquet with a large feast and company, but walked away hungry because he heard no truth. No sincerity in conversation.
An invisible mask is never invisible. It is felt - deeply and surely - by everyone around us. It leaves the heart empty, and wondering if the one-sided attempt for real conversation was worth initiating in the first place.
I've realized that some of my favourite people, the people that fill my heart with warmth and smiles, are the ones that are sincere. Often, they are also the wild ones, the innocent ones, the sarcastic ones, the ones that people see as abrasive and rude, or just a bit strange, but I think they are pretty darn awesome because at the end of the day, I trust them to be honest and sincere with me about what they think. They fill me up. I understand and trust them in a way that I can't for someone else.
Sincerity bridges a crucial divide between you and another person: Trust. And I do believe this is the starting point for any kind of deep, real relationship - whether it be friendship, family, or your present or future teammate in marriage.
Here's one more thought: how sincere are you to someone on the street, in need, in fear, on the margins (sic). Are we pretending to be counsellors, aides, "fixers" to help them with their problems, or are we sincere about the fact that we're no better than them in any sense and just as broken. That if we had lived their same experience, with the same sinful starting point all of us share, we could and would probably be in the same spot. We may have more money, and perhaps the strings tying our broken heart pieces together are laced a bit tighter, but we are the same. We are human. We are broken. And we need to be sincere about it. Not superior.
I'll be working on it.