With hope in his eyes, the restaurant manager asked the crucial question, “How is the food Madam?”. With a small polite smile, the lady replied softly, “It was not good”.
Many may term the lady as being “rude” or “ill mannered”. On a deeper note, can we really accuse her honest, polite and well meaning statement as one of rude behavior?
It may not initially appear as the nicest statement to make but it is undoubtedly sincere and genuine.
The word, “Sincerity” is often considered to be one that defines naivete too. The word, “sincere” is derived from the Latin word, “sincerus”, meaning untainted, possesses clarity and pure. A sincere individual reflects lack of pretension and dishonesty. As children, unless we have the misfortune to live with a family who prides in being pretentious, we are likely to be open and true in our perception and communication with others.
It is somewhere during the process of “maturing” and reaching adulthood, that a level of insincerity sets in our personality. This change, we are made to understand by many, is ensuring that as members of society, we behave in accordance with societal expectations. The emergence of this false conduct is often learnt from observing the closest of the people the child associates with during growth.
For many this “ability” to be false is often mistakenly considered to being one of the qualities that help you achieve success. In reality, is it not a form of hypocrisy?
When was the last time, you behaved or said something that was not what you intended? In the process of leading our personal and professional life, we may smile at people who are toxic with their presence. There may be situations where we hilariously follow beliefs and customs that are against our attitude to life and people. Some may be even unfortunate having to work in an environment that requires them to sell products that are against their ethics. The question is, is leading a life of hypocrisy that we secretly despise, but live as a prisoner, worth it?
For understanding just how important pretension plays in our life, we need to first answer the question, “What does success mean to us?”
In simple words, success is what we wish our life to be or the state that we exist in. For some, success is the end result that we seek or “Success is the desired goal”. For some, success is merely a never ending journey. Interestingly, what may constitute success to one person need not be what it is for another. The nature of the goal depends on you and you alone. During our early or the impressionable years (which may last for many more years than we realize!), we may initially follow a doctrine of success that is influenced by our society and family.
It is only much much later, that many of us realize that success has a far deeper meaning. The euphoria of an universally applauded achievement may soon die out leaving an emptiness that refuses to give us the desired satisfaction of the mind.
Excellent jobs with fantastic remuneration and benefits need not be our definition of success after many years. It is also the sincerity and honesty with which we are able to work in our working environment that affects our satisfaction and happiness in the long run.
The next question is just how far are we prepared to go to lead a life that reflects the sincerity we would like to follow in our hearts?
Our drive to stay sincere and resort to less hypocrisy has several benefits in our personal and professional life. One of the primary reasons for our state of happiness is lack of hypocrisy.
With apologies to the “Bard of Avon”, William Shakespeare, do we wish to make our world a stage and merely be actors till we “exit” our stage?
Let us be the one to decide.