Last modified on 26 March 2015, at 13:20


Sincerity is the virtue of one who speaks truly about his or her own feelings, thoughts, desires. Sincere expression carries risks to the speaker, since the ordinary screens used in everyday life are opened to the outside world. At the same time, we expect our friends, our lovers, our leaders "to be sincere".


  • Much brass has been sounded and many cymbals tinkled in the name of advertising; but the advertisements which persuade people to act are written by men who have an abiding respect for the intelligence of their readers, and a deep sincerity regarding the merits of the goods they have to sell.
  • Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power.
    • Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862), Volume II, "Sincerity", p. 153.
  • 主忠信。毋友不如己者。過,則勿憚改。
    • Translation: Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself (all friends would be as loyal as yourself). If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.
    • Confucius, The Analects, Chapter I.
  • Truth of a modest sort I can promise you, and also sincerity. That complete, praise-worthy sincerity which, while it delivers one into the hands of one's enemies, is as likely as not to embroil one with one's friends.
  • Frank sincerity is a quality much extolled among men and pleasing to every one, while simulation, on the contrary, is detested and condemned. Yet for a man's self, simulation is of the two by far the more useful; sincerity tending rather to the interest of others. But since it cannot be denied that it is not a fine thing to deceive, I would commend him whose conduct is as a rule open and straightforward, and who uses simulation only in matters of the gravest importance and such as very seldom occur; for in this way he will gain a name for honesty and sincerity, and with it the advantages attaching to these qualities. At the same time, when, in any extreme emergency, he resorts to simulation, he will draw all the greater advantage from it, because from his reputation for plain dealing his artifice will blind men more.
  • Over the years they had developed a layer of sincerity over the irony over the sincerity. It was an irony sandwich, then, which tasted mostly like sincerity, like a cheap, bad sandwich.
  • You seem to be going in for sincerity today. It isn't becoming to you, really — except as an obvious pose. Be as artificial as you are, I advise. There's a sort of sincerity in that, you know. And, after all, you must confess you like that better.
  • Men should be what they seem;
    Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
  • A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 712.
  • Of all the evil spirits abroad at this hour in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous.
  • Sincerity is impossible, unless it pervade the whole being, and the pretence of it saps the very foundation of character.
  • There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.
    • Mencius, Works, Book VII, Chapter IV.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Sincerity and truth form the basis of every virtue.
    Be what thou seemest; live thy creed;
    Hold up to earth the torch divine;
    Be what thou prayest to be made;
    Let the great Master's steps be thine.
  • Let every man examine his own sincerity, for every man must bear his own burden — the burden of his own sin —unless he has transferred it to the appointed Saviour.
  • Try how much of the word of God you can understand, and what is more, try how much you can practice. A sincere wish and purpose to do the will of God, will be your best way to know the mind of God.
  • True emotions and sincere words never perish. The great heart of humanity gladly receives and embalms every true utterance of the humblest of its offspring.
  • Judge thyself with the judgment of sincerity, and thou wilt judge others with the judgment of charity.
  • I cannot find in Scripture that any one ever got to heaven merely by sincerity, or was accepted with God if he was only earnest in maintaining his own views. Sincerity cannot put away sin.
  • The surest, as the shortest way, to make yourself beloved and honored, is to be, indeed, the very man you wish to appear.

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