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Unformatted text preview: s the old proverb. If so,
we have all given birth to some of his children.
Though direct lying is held to be harmful and socially disastrous, and evidence of either fear and cowardice or
malevolence, the essential honesty of people is usually summed up in the term sincerity. The advance of
civilization is marked by the appearance of toleration, the recognition that belief is a private right, especially
as concerns religion, and that sincerity in belief is more important than the nature of belief. What is really
implied by sincerity is the absence of camouflage or disguise, so that it becomes possible to know what a man
believes and thinks by his words and his acts. As a matter of fact, that ideal is neither realized nor desirable,
and it is as wise and natural to inhibit the expression of our beliefs and feelings as it is to inhibit our actions.
To be frank with a man, to tell him sincerely that we believe he is a scoundrel, and that we hate him and to
show this feeling by act, would be to plunge the world into barbarism. We must disguise hate, and there are
times when we must disguise love. Sincerity is at the best only relative; we ought to be sincere about love,
religion and the validity of our purposes, but in the little relationships sincerity must be replaced by caution,
courtesy and the needs of efficiency. In reality we ask for sincerity only in what is pleasant to us; the sincere
whose frankness and honesty offend we call boors.
Sincere self-revelation, if well done, is one of the most esteemed forms of literary production. Montaigne's
preface to his "Essays" is a promise that he lived up to in the sincerity and frankness of his self and other
analysis. "Pepy's Diary" charms because the naked soul of an Englishman of the seventeenth century is laid
before us, with its trivialities, lusts, repentance and aspirations. In the latter nineteenth century, Mary CHAPTER XIII. 115 MacLane's diary had an extraordinary vogue because of the apparent sincerity of the eager original nature
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11