"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world..." Mahatma Gandhi [i]
Most people associate the word "sincere" with the dictionary definition: "having or showing true feelings that are expressed in an honest way." [ii] The common sense of the word rests in a concern for the genuine in contrast to the fake. However, the true meaning of the word goes much deeper. This deeper meaning posits the achievement of congruity between our true inner reality and our external image. Its power is demonstrated when the inner reality is made manifest in the outer world.
On the topic of sincerity, Confucius said:
"...if a man does not understand what is good, he will not attain sincerity in himself.
Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men. He who possesses sincerity, is he who without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought--he naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains sincerity, is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast.
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To attain this requires the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it" [iii]