Why do we have a hard time being sincere to each other? Why is it so natural for young children to be honest? When and how exactly does this negative transition take place?
As children we are all born pure and innocent. At this early stage in our lives it is neutral for us to be honest and straightforward without any pretense.
Then one day we try to be someone whom we are not. We do this to make an impression on someone whose attention or love we seek. It’s a quick fix. We get the desired result.
However this comes at a great cost. For by doing so we have damaged the natural alignment that exist between what we say and how we feel.
The keyword in understanding the profound nature of our relationship with G-d is “Teshuva” which means “return”. The word implies that in order to reconnect with G-d we have only to “return” to our core being which is reflected most naturally in the innocence of our childhood.
I once heard from Rabbi Steinsaltz that if one wants to learn more about G-d one should observe children more closely. For it is only through the pure sincerity of the child that we can have access to G-d.
The good news is that the child we once were is still alive. He or she exists deep down inside each and every one of us. There is nothing we can do that will cause irreparable damage to its pure nature. We can only stifle its expression.
This period of the “Ten Days of Teshuvah” is a highly opportune time to begin this awesome journey of “return” to that world we once inhabited as a child.
We can begin this journey one step at a time by repairing the damage to the natural alignment that exists between what we say and how we feel.
In one word: Sincerity