The Kahu of my church always has inspirational sermons, but todayʻs was both inspirational and thought-provoking. The sermon was about work and the expectations therein. He stressed the ethics of work that should include diligence, respect and sincerity. This is to say not prescribing in “fake it until you make it”.
The word sincere has Latin roots–sin meaning without and cere meaning wax–without wax? He told the story of olden days when most pots, dishes, cups, etc. are made by hand by a potter. The potter works hard at his craft. He spends hours shaping a piece, smoothing and putting in the finishing touches. Then the piece is glazed and put into the kiln for firing. There were times, though, when a piece would come out with a crack. After putting in so much time and effort, sometimes the potter just fills the crack with wax, re-glazes and re-fires his pot. Although it would look perfect on the outside, the flaw was noticeable by the trained eye. This pot is not as strong as a complete, unblemished pot.
So, eventually pots that not only look perfect but are without wax are stamped”sin cere” to distinguish them from those that are repaired with wax. It is a sincere pot. It is actually as good as it looks. There is no pretense. What you see is sincerely what you get. So, applying this to work in the modern world it means that you should be diligent and sincere in the workplace…not going in and sneaking off to spend time on our cellphone or taking a quick nap in the warehouse. It means if you are being paid for 8 hours of work, those hours will be spent DOING the work.
I know this applies to me. In the Hawaiian culture when you are, as for myself, sewing a pāʻū for a hula dancer, you want to put good mana into that skirt. You want to have good thoughts. You want to have respect for the garment. Sometimes when things aren’t going as planned, as in having to take out seams, etc. I have to think about the mana I’m putting into the pāʻū. If the thoughts are not good thoughts I generally take a break until the frustration or stress passes lest I pass this on to the dancer. I want to be diligent, respectful and sincere.