In the American-English lexicon there is no adjective more admirable and cherished than “sincere,” the absence of pretense or deceit. It also has a romantic etymology. The 16th Century furniture craftsmen featured many who were so skilled that the parts of their furniture dovetailed and fit together perfectly. The lesser skilled furniture makers needed a wax or a glue, to give their product integrity. The word “sine” means without, and the word “cere” means glue; thus, the true artisan produced a genuine product which was “sin” “cere,” without glue and without artifice; one that was created with integrity.
This word has also been selected as relative to our present theme.
Young children, newly awakened to the reality of the empirical world, require and are given, tutoring in concepts and practices essential to the successful conduct of their lives, acceptable behavior, cleanliness, proper interaction with others, and so many others. These primary instructions and regulations are accepted, initially by the child in order to obtain approval and avoid chastisement, and later further enforced due to their repetition by interaction with others, similarly instructed.
As the individual matures in age and practical experience, he charts his own observations and experiences within the context of these rules; these mandates are, by his own experience, interpreted and translated in his developing psyche as clear, uncomplicated and immutable.
Unavoidably, later on in his life and experience, he observes that there are numerous instances of wrongful behavior and heart breaking injustices occurring in the world. As a somewhat new and inexperienced observer on the scene, he may experience some confusion and even partial disorientation, based upon the stark contrast between his early instructed and ingested mandates and a newly discovered (contrary) reality; as a natural consequence, he may demand immediate remedial action.
Understandably, he has little patience for subtle, deliberative action to ameliorate the injustice. What is earnestly demanded by him is immediate and decisive action; he has little patience and tolerance for subtle and measured strategies.
History and current events indicate that violent revolution, rebellion and public demonstrations are among the desired outlets of the young idealist. We do not oppose protest as a response; if peaceable, it is constitutional and legal. It should be said that the means, however, never justify the ends; it would appear that violent means ineluctably lead to violent ends; study France in the 18th and Russia in the 20th Century, as but two historical examples among many.
Long practical and painful experience has taught that the ends of justice and rectitude, calls for diplomacy, negotiation and, ultimately, compromise, often slow moving. To the ingénue this appears to be a betrayal of principle and a clear demonstration of revealed insincerity.
Herman Hesse, the German novelist, is a popular favorite of the young adult. Hesse’s characters personify, good or evil, passion or rationality. While we, of course, recognize Hesse to be a brilliant and talented novelist, we are doubtful that such opposing characteristics can be reductively assigned to designated individual characters. It would appear that, to the contrary, most personalities and the greater number of issues, present themselves with inconsistencies and complications too subtle of easy analysis.
As we accumulate experience, we do not (insincerely) “sell- out” our cardinal principles by what has proven to be necessary, by reason of divergent interests of those involved, the method of gradual incremental change; the latter by negotiation and compromise, provided that the same is intended to, and does, tend to the desired result. We do not desire that the perfect be the enemy of the good and possible.
In the meantime, we earnestly advise that those disappointed with the rate of progress, in the peace and resolution process, not “take home all their marbles.” The sincere pursuit of justice requires patient and incremental dedication.