For the next several months, I will be publishing a set of blog posts every week based on a book that I have been dreaming about for a long time to write. I would consider it my life’s work, the quest to create a better relationship in every dimension. Whether it be with your parents, significant other, children, grandchildren, friends, professional acquaintances, yourself, you get it, in every aspect of your life.
Through this writing experience itself, there is also much to learn. To that end, in-depth, one of the areas that I have studied is Sincerity’s human trait. It was my dissertation topic because for me to have taken this journey one, finishing my schooling, I had to focus on what I believe is my calling, helping others. I genuinely think that this can be a social disruption. We can create and nurture relationships at all levels.
Such as not to lose the excitement of the topic as I thought about conveying Sincerity’s research to write perhaps a novel telling the story, a fable if you will. My original dissertation was a comparison between Sincerity and Authenticity from leaders’ perceptive. I used authenticity as the background to create a set of ideas to compare and contrast these two constructs. Authenticity is a term that has a connotation of nobility; it appears to be a standard to achieve in relational skill and practice. I have much of the research completed and the outline for the book, etc. However, as I read it, it felt dry and arguably pendant and academic, which is my usual voice. I am passionate about this topic, and I don’t want to lose others through a dry vehicle of composition. It needs a human to perceive, something practical that everyone can see, hence my shot at a fable. If you want to know more about the science behind fables, click here. Now, let get started.
A Rainy Day
It was a cold, dreary day as Sincerity looked out the window. She has always been fascinated by the weather, wondering…
Father:” Whatch ya thinking?”
Sincerity:” The little kids, when will they get to play?”
Father:” Oh, this storm will pass soon.”
Sincerity: “Maybe I can build a swing-set under The Cover for them?”
The Cover was a large pavilion-like structure located in the middle of town. That was where the community band played during holidays.
Sincerity: “That way, the kids would have somewhere to play during these kinds of storms. It doesn’t seem fair that they would be cooped up inside on the weekends”.
Authenticity:” I just have to tell you, this weather just does a number on my hair, and when my hair is not right, I just don’t feel myself,” she continued.
Father: “As I said, it will pass soon — now, changing the subject, what are we going to do for New Year’s Eve?”
Sincerity and Authenticity have always been very close. Sincerity is the oldest and always looks after her sister, Authenticity. Sincerity usually keeps to herself but always has concern for others. She is always very observant. Her name is unique; this is because she has a unique set of parents.
Her father’s name is Justice; Justice was fascinated with Greek history and how Greek philosophy influenced Western culture. Their ancestry is from Greece, specifically from the isle of Santorini. When Sincerity was born, he wanted to give her a strong, yet, well pure name. Justice named her Sincerity because it comes from the Greek word “sincerus,” which means a clean and pure sound.
Urban legend has it that the word, sincerity, came from a combination of words, ‘sin’ and ‘cera,’ which translates, without wax. When artists sold their sculptures in Santorini, the hotbed of artists and sculptors, the value came from the stone’s perfection, no cracks, bumps, or grooves. Sometimes, the artist would nick the marble and hide their flaws; they would use wax to cover up the crack. At the market, buyers would look to see if they could find such flaws, often asking the artist to move the piece into the sunlight, such as to melt any wax that might be hiding the mistake. Thus, sincera, or without wax, meant that you were genuine, the real thing, without flaws.
We know that it’s inappropriate to suggest that a parent has a favorite child; Justice and Sincerity had a special bond. Everyone knew it, but it never was discussed.
Sincerity: “Who’s all coming.”
Justice “I think most of the family.”
Authenticity: “That doesn’t say much; that could be the whole town for all we know.”
Justice: “I guess it doesn’t matter who’s coming; we need to have some idea of what we are going to do.”
Sincerity: “Maybe we can use this time to raise some money to build that swing set at The Cover.”
Authenticity: You and your causes, Sis, I love you, but you need to take care of yourself. You have too many irons in the fire, and besides, with the new year ahead of us, we need to focus on the legislation coming out.”
Sincerity: “What legislation?”
Authenticity: “The one that states that everyone has an obligation to serve EVERYONE who walks in their place of establishment. I happen to agree with that position, but many don’t, and I think we need to get the support needed to get passed”.
Sincerity: “Well, I happen to disagree with that position. Besides, let capitalism take over. If a small business does not want to serve someone from a different belief system, they will go out of business. Simple”.
Authenticity: “You can’t be serious? What kind of attitude is that?”
It was very uncharacteristic for Sincerity to speak her mind that way. This behavior probably took Authenticity by surprise. Authenticity, unlike her sister, always made her opinions heard. She felt a need for everyone to know what she thought even though no one asked. For Authenticity, this level of transparency was important to her. She wanted people to know her position at all times. Also, she felt that it was the right thing to do when people wondered about their insecurities. It was nothing for Authenticity to compliment someone’s clothing, appearance, or even their hard work. However, the opposite is also true. Authenticity felt a duty to let people know when they fell short. Everything from missing the point on a large argument to missing a belt loop with your belt, Authenticity would let you know.
Though the sisters were close, this aspect of their personality was always at odds. Sincerity always felt that it was important to focus on how others felt. She was undoubtedly the more empathic of the two. She seems to have a sixth sense as to how others felt. She lived by the Platinum Rule. If the Golden Rule was to treat others as you would want to have them treat you, then the Platinum Rule was to treat others as they would like to be treated. A slight nuance, but the Platinum Rule, was much harder to follow since you needed to know how others felt, their values, and what they wanted. The Golden Rule was simpler since we already know how we feel and how we want to be treated. Even then, we are continually calibrating our desires.
Sincerity: “Let the circumstances address the differences. That is a common constraint between both parties. Might help teach them both a lesson.”
Authenticity: What lesson is that?”
Sincerity: “: There needs to be a respect for differences. There is a difference between accepting and approving. We can accept without approval. We can learn to tolerate.”
Authenticity: “Tolerate? That doesn’t sound friendly.”
Sincerity: “Somewhere in our language, the word tolerate got redefined. There is beauty in the diversity of thought AND belief.”
Authenticity: “I get the coexist thing, but should we have one set of agreed moral codes? They would all know where we stood. It only seems rational.”
Sincerity: “Sure, that would be great, one rule for all. Do you think that will ever happen? And whose ‘rules’ should we use?”
Authenticity: “I don’t know if it will ever happen, but we need to work towards something that we can all agree on. If we are all transparent in what we want, lay it all out, I’m sure we can get to a consensus.”
Justice: “Okay, now that you are done solving the world’s problems, let’s help your mother get dinner on the table.”
Similar to the relationship that Justice and Sincerity have, Authenticity has with their mother, Transparency. Transparency grew in a household where women were second class citizens. The old school chauvinistic stereotype where women were to be servants to their husbands by cleaning the house, cooking for them, and bearing their children. Transparency always knew that she had much more to give and yet felt stifled. I guess that is one of the reasons that Transparency and Justice got married. Justice saw what was happening and wanted a better life for her.
Transparency felt that the best way to give herself was to be a straight shooter, come clean with others, and have her intentions understood. She always dreamt of being a lawyer to bring fairness to the people who needed it the most, the poor, and society’s ignored. She had a heart for oppressed children, especially children of substance abusers. She had heard of a roll called guardian ad litem, someone that took care of children during a domestic abuse case. Maybe someday, however, that never came to pass as Transparency’s environment, as stated above, did not allow for vocal women to take on such heady tasks.
When Authenticity was born, it was those feelings for the injustice that loomed in Transparency’s mind. She wanted a better life for Authenticity, a life that allowed her to be herself, for her to be autonomous and to achieve whatever she wanted to do. To be real and never fictitious on who she is.
(At the dinner table)
Transparency: “So what were we talking about?”
Authenticity: “Oh, Sis was talking about how the new legislation is a waste of time.”
Sincerity: That is not what I said”
Transparency:” well, whatever you said is fine; I happen to agree with it.”
Authenticity: “Thank you, mother.”
Transparency: “Honey, who was that on the phone?”
Justice: “You are not going to believe who is coming for New Year’s Eve!”