This week, we investigate how to tell the sincerity of an individual’s convictions.
Table of Contents
- What Is Sincerity?
- Why should You Care about the Sincerity of Someone’s Convictions?
- People who are insincere are not loyal to you
- The less sincere we are, the less invested we are
- Without sincerity, our world becomes full of counterfeit virtue
- How to Determine the Sincerity of Someone’s Convictions
- Sincerity Matters
What Is Sincerity?
Sincerity is the “quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy.” When someone is sincere about their convictions, they are invested in maintaining and advancing their beliefs. Furthermore, they will stand by what they value by forgoing comfort, prestige, and fame.
Why should You Care about the Sincerity of Someone’s Convictions?
People who are insincere are not loyal to you – Being able to find people who genuinely believe what they say is crucial to forming allies. Genuine individuals are willing to suffer to uphold what matters. You can count on such people not to betray you even during challenging times.
The less sincere we are, the less invested we are – If we are not sincere in our convictions, we are less invested. The less committed you are, the less you will fight for what matters when your comforts are threatened. For example, if you are not sincere about combating homelessness, you will withdraw support once you must sacrifice spare time or income to support others. If you cannot remain committed during tough times, then evil will continue unchallenged.
Without sincerity, our world becomes full of counterfeit virtue – People always fake supporting significant causes because such support is lauded. This fake support is counterfeit virtue. However, when you are sincere, you are virtuous. And the pursuit of excellence makes an individual better, faster, and more capable through meaningful, sustainable challenges. The less genuine we are, the more counterfeit virtue there is, and the weaker everyone becomes.
How to determine the sincerity of someone’s convictions
“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” – Confucius
If we can identify individuals strong in their convictions, we can create allies, friends, and respected enemies. Counting weak individuals amongst your friends, supporters, or enemies will only make you soft. Having spineless friends means your weakness will be excused and supported. Having weak allies means you have backstabbers all around you. Having weak enemies means you will never be challenged in meaningful ways that strengthen your convictions, arguments, and ideas.
1) Does what they believe inconvenience themselves?
Remember, counterfeit virtue requires nothing. A pathetic individual may state they “care about the poor” then do nothing to help the poor. They may vote, but are they at the soup kitchen? Do they sacrifice comfortable nights watching NetFlix to go and help the poor? Do they cut back on eating out and invest that money in local homelessness programs?
We all love our comforts. It is the individual who is willing to sacrifice his comforts in the pursuit of an ideal who truly cares about that ideal.
2) Does what they support expand individual responsibility?
Most individuals are desperate to remove responsibility from themselves. But power and responsibility always exist and cannot be destroyed. Therefore, the man who voluntarily pursues more responsibility wants to bear his ideals’ intellectual, physical, and moral costs.
It is the liar who wants to expand responsibility to others. He does not believe what he preaches. For example, the man who wants to help the poor is not sincere if he wants the “rich to pay for it.” He doesn’t want to be responsible for helping others – he wants others to bear that burden. He sees a problem and doesn’t want to be accountable for fixing it. Thus, he is not sincere in his beliefs.
Only the individual acts. Thus, only the individual can put his time, energy, and effort forward in proving his sincerity. As soon as he wants others to carry his burden, you know he is not eager to resolve an issue or achieve his ideal.
Sincerity is usually reduced and ignored as “over-eagerness” or “naivete.” In our cynical, weak world, we cannot imagine someone actually caring about anything, let alone their ideals.
So it’s time for you to be the outlier. You should believe, deeply, in what matters. Your actions should reflect your sincerity. You should not wander through life embittered and small-minded.
Be willing to endure discomfort to support your belief. Be willing to embrace personal responsibility even though such action may hurt your vices. Your sincerity will attract others. Your commitments will strengthen your character. Do not give up and fade away as everyone else is so desperate to do.
“Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.” – Albert Camus
- Are you sincere in your beliefs? Do you pursue them vigorously, even at the cost of your comforts?
- Who is someone you know who is sincere? What do you like about them? What don’t you like about them?
- How do you think your culture approaches sincerity? What evidence do you have for formulating your conclusion?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.