Katie C., age 15
What is Love? How do you express it? Maybe with a hug, a smile, or a high five? When you’re truly expressing Love, you are sincere. When you’re being sincere you are completely honest and truthful, and your words have more meaning. No one wants to hear someone ramble on about something they don’t care about. When people are being truthful and honest, their words have more depth and interest.
Imagine it’s Christmas time and you’re opening presents. Would you rather receive five hundred toothbrushes or a puppy? Probably the puppy, right? Well, sincerity in your words and actions work the same way. It’s better to give someone a compliment and really mean it, than to give someone 20 compliments that are half-hearted or not even sincere at all. It’s still nice to smile and give compliments, but you have to make sure you mean it, because when you really mean what you say and do, it reaches others better and shows you’re being truly loving.
With sincerity, there’s no sarcasm or hidden meanings behind words and actions. This topic ties in with humility as well. Part of being humble and sincere is not expecting anything in return. For example, let’s say you tell someone you like their shoes. You didn’t do that just to gain a compliment back; you just genuinely thought they had cool shoes. Since you’re being sincere in your words and actions, the recipient knows they’ve truly earned it and, therefore, your words are more credited and valuable. If you have a tendency of being insincere, your words might be overlooked or disregarded.
Practicing sincerity is also helpful in the long run. I once heard someone say, “Thoughts become your words, words become your actions, actions become your habits and habits become your life.” If you stay sincere in thought and action, then you are careful with not only the words you choose to say, but the thoughts you choose to think about as well. Therefore sincerity is very important for life in general, because, like I said before, when you have sincerity it adds more depth and meaning to your words and actions, which will eventually add more depth and meaning to your whole life!
The great thing about camp is that everybody sincerely loves each other. We speak words of kindness and encouragement. What makes these words even more meaningful to everyone is the feeling of sincerity behind them. Even if someone confronts you about something you need to change or work on, they talk to you with the utmost respect and love. If they weren’t expressing the sincerity needed to confront you, then instead they would have complained to others about your flaws without challenging you to face the problem and grow from it.
There was a week this summer when my counselors felt I didn’t earn any K-beads. At first it sounded like I did something bad and that’s why I didn’t get beads, but that wasn’t the case at all. They just felt I didn’t grow a whole lot that week and that I could strive for higher things. In this act, my counselors proved to be very loving and sincere because a) they told me what I could honestly work on to challenge myself to grow and b) they made me trust that I was rewarded with beads when I had truly earned them.
This summer I have grown so much spiritually and mentally, thanks to my amazing counselors. Really everybody has helped me with their sincere words and smiles. People can tell when you’re being sincere, and when you are, who knows? It could mean the world to someone.