The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. – Thomas Carlyle
The Origin of Sincerity
According to Wikipedia, old folk etymology states that the word sincere was derived from sine cera, which meant without wax. In ancient Greece and Rome, unscrupulous sculptors would use wax to cover up defects and cracks in their work. The wax, which had no color, would conceal the defect and go unnoticeable to the buyer. It was only over time or when exposed to heat that the cover-up was revealed. Living a no-wax life means being sincere even with our flaws and weaknesses. You will be surprised by how far the currency of sincerity goes into deepening relationships.
Such was the case when Franklin Delano Roosevelt, better known as FDR, was inaugurated as President of the United States in 1933. The country was sinking in the mire of the Great Depression. Against the canvas of failing banks, unprecedented unemployment rates, and people starving, FDR used sincere talks, called fireside chats, coupled with decisive actions to steer the nation out of one of its worst times.
Amid all the noise of hopelessness and despair, the voice of FDR came through the radio into the homes and hearts of millions of Americans. It became a signal of hope that better times were ahead. He applied sincerity, and to many Americans, it felt like the President was right there in their homes and not sitting in the White House behind a microphone.
What was the effect of these chats? The day following his first chat, long lines were observed outside banks. People were depositing money instead of withdrawing it. FDR, America’s longest-serving president, used his platform as president authentically.
The Currency of Sincerity
Our platforms are powerful because they are an extension of who we are. As a father, I realize that what I say and do carry significant weight. Like a brick can be used to build or break, my words and actions can do the same. Every day, I get to choose if I will use the moments I have with my daughters to build or break them. I choose to build.
Applying sincerity to our platforms is important because it is a key component of trust. When we are sincere, we are being honest and genuine with others. This allows them to trust us and believe we have their best interests at heart. Sincerity causes others to be open and honest with us in return.
How can you grow in sincerity? The acronym H.O.T is helpful:
- Be Honest in your interactions.
- Be Open to feedback, correction, and change.
- Be Transparent with your intentions.
As you grow in sincerity, your platform becomes attractive as the heat of authenticity draws many to you. Sincerity makes your platform powerful because it allows you to connect with people on a deeper level. You can never go wrong with sincerity. Sincerity makes your platform more enjoyable. When you are sincere, you’re more likely to be passionate about what you’re saying, and this passion is contagious. Additionally, sincerity makes your platform credible. People lean in and pay attention when they know you are not duplicitous and you truly want the best for their lives, even when you say something difficult to digest.
Final thought: Sincerity is foundational to a powerful platform. It is a valuable quality and is a net positive for your platform. But being sincere is a choice. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. When we are sincere, we build stronger relationships, live more authentically, and our platforms are impactful.
Keep on keeping on!