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Dictionary.com defines “sincere” as “1) free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; 2) genuine, real”

My husband-who-lives-across-town used to say that if he could teach his sixth graders how to “fake sincerity” they would be ahead of the game for life. What he meant by that was that if he could teach them to appear interested and focused on the task or person at hand, they would ultimately complete the task and find the intriguing elements in it as part of the process. He was ahead of the “fake it ’til you make it” trend, but equally successful.

Young children are the most sincere humans around. They are straightforward and totally without guile, and you always know where you stand with them. Olivia, the almost four-year-old in our house, has no difficulty communicating her ideas, feelings, and opinions with anyone who will listen. She is sincere in her approach, and can be counted on to “tell it like it is”, whatever “it” is. Rapidly approaching eight, big sister Lily is becoming harder to read as she learns how to dissemble and prevaricate. She has been out in the wide world long enough that sincerity is becoming more and more difficult.

As for me, I’m finding myself at the opposite end of the sincerity curve. With age has come the honest understanding that I can be my own sincere self without being concerned about what others think about me. I have no men, bosses, or co-workers to try to impress, and have the freedom to simply be myself — whatever shape I take at the time. And that in itself is a blessing.

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