Sincerity Q2

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 7, Q2

Sincerity: “Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

Personal notes:

  • Practice on friends & family
  • Be an open book to the girls
  • Sit down with dad for Father’s Day

At times I’d like to share a nice, kind, or pleasant thought with friends or family, but I don’t – I balk at apologies too. Is it weird that I keep these thoughts to myself? Keeping quiet about bad thoughts makes sense, but why does my gut keep silent for good ones? Over the last few years I’ve forced myself to be more open, honest and sincere with my wife – happy wife, happy life, and all that (it’s true) – but not so much others. If I try to think of a reason, I have no answer. Why not be sincere with friends and family? Why not reach out and share? Seems obvious.

This past week, we had a lot going on: visited family, attended a wedding, farewell dinner for an old friend, and a few others. For each I overruled my gut and did my best to be sincere. For my buddy who is moving, I told him earnestly, how much I’ll miss him. The day after dancing all night at the wedding, I thanked the groom and bride for including us in the festivities.

Admittedly, none of this is rocket science, my wife does it all the time (in fact, I think most females do), but maybe it is rocket science for me; the rocket science of sincere emotions – Male 101. Old timers of generations past would pour me a whiskey, nervously look for the door, or punch me in the nose; “sack up” they’d say. But there’s something to this sincerity bit; when thoughts don’t linger I feel better.

People like hearing when you’re grateful, happy, or hurt. Helps put emotion on the compass and give folks a sense of direction. It also helps turn off the mind’s replay settings – or at least lower the volume. Just the other day I sent a snarky email that I initially thought was funny. However, I ruminated for hours how rude it was in retrospect. The only way to quiet my mind was to write an apology; so I did. Success was immediate, as was my friend’s reply calling me a donkey. I had to laugh, it made me feel better, my mind was at ease and I could finally go on with the rest of the day.