By Aman Chawla
As we grow up, the world supplies us with the definitions of certain qualities which we accept and imply in our lives at a very tender age and never revise them again. One such definition about which I am going to write about today is ‘Sincerity’. If we could go back to school and ask from our teachers whether or not we were sincere during our education, I believe the teachers will analyze our sincerity by the level of agreement with them. Not every student is attentive and not every student follows the rules but the sincere ones are those who take teachers seriously and follow each golden rule of school without raising any questions. For me, the definition of being sincere was having combed hair, a fastened collar button, taking care of my glasses, doing homework on time, obeying elders and not fighting. But, at a later stage in my life, the definition of sincerity completely changed from what I had understood so far. As effectively as I can term, the closest related word to ‘Sincerity’ is ‘Honesty’.
But the question is- Honesty towards what? Does being sincere means being honest to an already existing mindset which our society possesses towards everything? I have observed that the most sincere people are the ones who are actually the most insincere ones. People can be broadly classified into two categories. One category consists of the people who choose a lifestyle guided by “what the society expects”. A majority falls in this category wherein one chooses to be someone that the society, the family, the guardians have already decided. Usually the ones falling under this category are labeled as ‘SINCERE’ and these so called proudly flaunt their illusory recognition. The second category, which is in minority, derives its way of living by “what THEY want in life”. This group is often entitled as psychos or anti-social or ‘INSINCERE’ as well because they wouldn’t listen to anyone’s advice and take their own decisions.
I remember an incident from my school life. I had a friend whom the teachers tagged as the most sincere boy of the class. He always obeyed the teachers’ orders without involving his own conscience into the subject and that’s what apparently made him sincere and the favorite of all the teachers. On the other hand, there was another friend of mine who consistently performed poorly and denied doing homework assigned to him, especially Mathematics. He was termed as insincere.
Today, that insincere boy is in Delhi pursuing a degree in visual arts, something which always fascinated him. He is one of the budding talent and an upcoming artist in our country. I often talk to him about his life’s journey to these endeavors and the conversation stops at a point where he says “What if I too had been a sincere boy and studied what was being taught in the school?” The other one, the sincere guy, is now a highly pissed off engineering student who is trying to wriggle out of the shell he created for himself years ago, the shell of so called sincerity. The shell that made him do all those things he never wished to do and with each passing day that shell became stronger and stronger.
We all come face to face with similar situations in life. Most of us live with shells and tags that we are not courageous enough to detach from ourselves. It is said that the image is bigger than the man, so we try to save that image instead of saving ourselves; we lie to our inner-self and end up with a life full of repentance. A sincere person is the one who follows his heart without thinking the pros and cons and ultimately finds the bliss. This reminds me of a wonderful quote by Edward Bulwer Lytton, an English politician. He said- “Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.”
If not encouraged, a genius remains a mediocre and I will not blame it on our society. Let me ask a simple question to you. Try to answer it as honestly as possible for you because you will be answering it to yourself.
Are you doing what you always wanted to do?
If your answer is yes, I must congratulate you that you are being honest to yourself and that is the true essence of being sincere- living your life regardless of what people say and regardless of the tags they designate you with because life does become difficult with tags.
If your answer is no, detach all those tags on you and wear wings of enthusiasm to fly high and convert the NO into a YES!
Once I met a single mother of a seven year old kid. She told me that she never tells her kid what he should do or what he should not, “I want him to discover it himself” she added. Most of the parents create boundaries for their children and the children derive the meaning of the word ‘sincerity’ while living inside a boundary or a shell as we can say.
Never let anyone dictate you about what you shouldn’t be doing just because he or she feels it’s not good.
This is your life, DO what you love and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, QUIT. If you are looking for the love of your life, STOP. They’ll be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Life is simple, enjoy every bit of it. Open your arms and minds to new people and things. Share your dreams. Life is short, go out and start creating, start living and be sincere to yourself.