According to a popular legend, dishonest sculptors in 16th-century Rome and Greece would use wax to fill in the cracks and crevices of marble to make the surface appear solid. The wax would disintegrate, of course, right after the sculpture was made. This happened so often that stonecutters began to stamp blocks of authentic marble with the Latin words, Sine Cere, or “without wax.” That’s where the word sincere found its origins.
To be sincere, then, doesn’t mean that we don’t have cracks and fractures, but that we don’t attempt to fill in those imperfections with things that don’t stand the test of time. True love is the reason I can be Sine Cere, and so it is with you.
Each of us has an opportunity to leave this portion of life with a skill set for our eternity which is far more important than your career, your wealth, and your position in life. This portion of your life, your earthly existence, prepares you not only to enjoy the ride, but to learn how to solve problems; how to regain your strength to carry on when we stumble and fail, and assist those who have fallen short; to console those who have lost a parent, partner or friend, or those grieving the end of their marriage.
We train to succeed in our occupations. But you have also been enlightened on matters of the heart and soul that extend far beyond the professional world. There should be no doubt that people want to find meaningful success in whatever they pursue. And, if they are sincere, that sincerity leaves them with a subtle nagging, a chronic pestering, that makes it virtually impossible to ignore their inner voice: to repair their cracked lives, to be their true self, to believe in their journey that directs them toward the service of others.
But we all need help in this journey if we are to be truly successful and happy. We need the guidance and support of immutable truths passed down to us from those who gave us life, and those who gave it meaning.
So right now I ask you to take a moment to think about those you interact with, and make a promise to yourself to do your best in the years ahead to remain a sincere, faithful friend to them. I ask you to be truly grateful as each one of them has taken a turn believing in you when you aren’t up for the job. And vice versa. Then close your eyes and create a very clear picture of who you want to be.
Embrace your failures, be brave and bold enough to be sincere … with others, with yourself, and with God. And carry with you always the wisdom of those who have given us life, and those who have given that life worthy meaning. Embrace life as it is with sincerity.