Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same.

Courtesy: Rosa Say

I love the story of the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. When I think about sincerity, things that are really real, I think of the conversation between the stick horse and the rabbit.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Being real means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same. How often do we wear masks and stand behind facades that cover the real person? Taking off the masks does hurt at times. It’s a process that takes time and patience and courage. And, if we ever get to the place where the mask is gone, there is no guarantee we will be accepted by everyone.

So, why remove masks at all? Because unless the masks are gone, others have no chance to really love the real you. And, when Aloha loves courageously removes masks and embraces those who have done the same, a true ‘ohana (family) is formed. To the Hawaiian, family is not only biological but also those you choose to call family, which is the complete circle of aloha.

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