On a flight the other day the flight steward picked up a little book and proceeded to read a rote welcome from the book over the public announcement system. Her script included how absolutely delighted the airline was that we had chosen to fly with them.
It’s just that her voice and her face didn’t convey the same delight. It conveyed boredom and obligation.
I watched and listened and thought how insincere the announcement seemed.
To be sincere is to be real, genuine. It is the absence of pretence, deceit, or hypocrisy.
Sincerity feels in such short supply in our world.
As human beings, we are drawn to it, but we sense the lack of it. We pick up on insincerity. It feels like fake leather, doesn’t it?
The day after my flight I grabbed a coffee at our kids’ school. Rudi owns the coffee truck at the school, and Rudi serves coffee after coffee after coffee as bleary-eyed parents line up to get their morning fix after the craziness of the morning rush! Rudi’s coffee is great, but the thing I love most about him is his sincerity. Our brief conversations while I order and pay for my coffee always feel so real.
I’ve been asking myself why?
I think it’s his warm, familiar greeting, his eye contact, the sense that he’s really listening. I think it’s uncontrived answers, how comfortable he is in his own skin, his need to not impress me. It’s his humility, the sense that he’s known some struggles in his life.
Sometimes I order a coffee just to chat with Rudi. Because he feels real.
Ultimately, I think sincerity is when someone feels that we’re real, honest and authentic in our interactions with them.
Sincerity matters. It matters in our friendships and relationships. It matters in our parenting and our leadership.
In a world of prominence and position, of big egos and influencers and loud voices, I want to become a person of sincerity. I want to keep learning to be warm, genuine, uncontrived, unpretentious. I want people to know that they matter when they’re with me. In an insincere culture, I want to keep fighting for sincerity. It’s just a better way to live.