Understanding Human Life through Experience: Sincerity is the Most Precious Thing in the World

Guan Ming

PureInsight | August 1, 2005

[PureInsight.org] Once I hosted an academic lecture on the topic of "How to open and utilize the right side of your brain" at a university. I asked the young students in the class a simple question. What kind of person has the most charm? Each student was asked to write down what he or she thought was the right answer on a piece of paper. To sum it up, my students thought that the following three types of people have the most charm: (1) Handsome men and beautiful women (2) Enormously wealthy people from wealthy families (3) Powerful government officials.

I wrote these three answers on the blackboard, then asked them with a smile on my face, "Although these answers makes sense to a certain degree. However, what if a person who belongs to one or all of these three categories is a liar and a hypocrite, and says things that you can't trust. Would you still think that he is charming?" Nobody said anything. I continued to say, "I believe that the following three types of people have the most charm: (1) people who follow what they believe strictly and treat others with sincerity (2) big-hearted people with great forbearance (3) people with great wisdom." The students responded to my comments with thunderous applause.

A mischievous then student shouted out, "How much is sincerity worth a pound?" I used a short story to describe the value of sincerity. It was dusk and four people arrived at the ferry port. They were a rich man, a government official, a warrior, and a poet. There was only one small boat and all four requested that the captain ferry them over.

The captain was an old man. He stroked his beard and asked them, "Tell me your special skills and then I'll ferry the person who is the most worthy over." That rich man took out shining white silver and told him, "I have a lot of money." The government official said, "If you ferry me over, I can make you a district official." The warrior unsheathed his sword and said, "If you don't ferry me over, with one flick of my sword I can cut off your…." The old captain heard this, and then asked the poet, "What is your special skill?" The poet replied with a sigh, "I don't have anything. However if I don't get home, my wife and children will be very worried." The old captain then waved him onboard, "Come on board then! You already demonstrated your special skill. That was the most valuable treasure." After the poet got on board he was a bit confused, "Old man, could you tell me what special skill you think I have?" As the old man steered the boat, he said, "Your long sigh, and the worry on your face is the best statement you can make. The sincerity you demonstrated is the most precious thing out of all."

It is true. You cannot calculate the value of sincerity with money. However, the sincerity of the internal spirit is a most precious human trait. Treating people with sincerity and honesty, and keeping your word, can obtain you more trust and understanding from other people. Straying away from sincerity, then there isn't any friendship to talk about.

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