Teaching the Virtues: Sincerity
What is Sincerity?
By Mary Dixon Lebeau
I remember when I was growing up. Every October, my siblings and I would anxiously study the listings in the TV Guide and look forward to the day that one of our favorite cartoon specials, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, would air. (This, of course, being before the dawn of the VCR.)
If you remember the special, you’ll remember that Linus convinced Sally to forgo trick or treating to wait with him in a pumpkin patch for the rise of the Great Pumpkin, who would shower gifts on all the children. “
“Every year on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch he deems the most sincere,” Linus would vow, as the other children shook their heads and picked up their trick or treat bags. I remember wondering how a pumpkin patch became sincere, and why that would be important.
Now, as an adult, I have similar thoughts – not about a pumpkin patch, but about my children. What does it mean to raise children who are sincere? What is sincerity, and why is it important?
In the most basic terms, being sincere is being real – inside and out. Your actions and your words are a reflection of the inner feelings. It’s not enough to say the right thing or do what is expected. A sincere person begins inside, with the feelings, and allows these feelings to be mirrored in his interactions with the outside world.