Sunday, March 11, 2012

Honesty and Sincerity

In addition to this blog, I’ve begun submitting some of my writings to a writer’s blog, The Write Practice.  The comment that I regularly receive on my writing is that it is honest and sincere.  I am complimented when I hear this, as that is my goal when I write – to be truthful and open.

My proclivity towards sincerity has been with me since birth.  Like the little girl with the curl on her forehead – when I’m good I’m very, very good and when I’m bad, I’m horrid.    I’ve been sincerely kind and sincerely mean; I’ve been sincerely happy and sincerely sad.  But always sincere.

I don’t know if this quality came from nature or nurture; I just know it’s always been there.  I consider this one of my better qualities, but it’s also opened me up to a great many hurts.  Like an open book, I’ve been exposed to rough handling, coffee stains, rips and scribbles in my margins.  But I’ve also experienced the loving touch of someone turning my pages to read my next paragraphs.

Honesty is another story.  Though I’d like to believe my honesty comes from some deep morality within me, really (honestly???) it’s because I’m such a lousy liar.  I always have been.  No poker face here.  You never want to tell me about someone’s surprise party.  I’m able to keep a secret…unless confronted by a direct question, at which point my “Who me?  I know nothing.” expression reveals everything.

I believe this quality came from God, more for my protection than as a reward.  This was His way of “leading me not in to temptation”.  Since I know I won’t succeed in lying, it’s not worth the effort.

In my writing, I try to be honest and sincere in order to help people.  I spent much of my life feeling strange, the only one like me.  Through much reading, listening and observing I’ve discovered I’m not all that different.  The rest of humanity is just as screwed up as me.  It’s just that I’m more open about it.

Certainly, many say they’re confused and unsure of things, but I don’t get the sense they believe it. They say the words, but they don’t complete the thought.  They don’t reveal the honest, down and dirty examples.  They’re not being sincere.

In these instances, I don’t think people are trying to deceive, as much as they’re trying to protect themselves.  They want to keep their book in pristine condition, revealing only the dust jacket version of their story.  It looks good on the bookshelf, but it’s not really of any use.

I want to be of use to people.  I want everything I’ve seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and touched to be of some use – the sweet and the sour, the melodic and the discordant.  I want my life to have some purpose beyond just myself.  I want to be an opened and read book from which people learn and are entertained.  The only way I know how to do this is by being honest and sincere. 

Monday, March 05, 2012

Like Siamese Twins

"Our prayer must not be self-centered.  It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own.  To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them."

  -John Calvin