Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week Seven, Q1

Sincerity: “Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

Personal notes:

  • Stop being short;
  • Stop using wise ass comments;
  • Express what you’re thinking rather than hiding it (leads to personal frustration when people don’t “figure out” what I’m thinking; How could they? Aren’t they psychic?);
  • Share your emotions rather than using stupid phrase as cover;
  • Give more to Caryn (my wife); talk like you would to Clara (my daughter).

My goal this week was to be more honest and sincere with my wife. When I had a feeling or thought, I tried my best to share it; without being glib or vague. Sometimes it was a simple text “I love you.” Other times I asked where she thought we were as a family, parent, and couple.

In our talks we agreed that Sincerity is very much tied to Silence. Practicing the two has led to a lot of improvement in our relationship. We’re not really experiencing highs or lows (no epic poetry, no teenage angst), just a steady, pleasant modicum of happiness. When before too many thoughts were blocked by noise or too many virtues atrophied from lack of care, there’s now a sense of mature calm.

For Sincerity I had to learn to drop my guard and share. Being open had the unintended effect of building a sturdier, happier relationship. Even more, by focusing on one person, my quality of interaction changed and that had the unintended effect of including others in my life. It’s been quite interesting these last few weeks; they have decidedly made an impact. All I can say at close is this, my wife went away this weekend for a conference and when I said goodbye, I was genuinely sad to see her go.

Originally published at on March 21, 2016.

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