Don Power

Do you REALLY know what it means to be SINCERE?

by Don Power on December 17, 2009

in Great Ideas

Are you looking at my wax?

Are you looking at my wax?

photo credit: Ted Franks

In grade 7, I had a very strict and hyper-intelligent teacher — Mr. Bambrick.

Every week he would give us a list of complicated vocabulary words. He would tell us the origin of the word and we’d have quizzes for spelling AND meaning.

To this day, (that’s almost 30 years ago for anyone keeping track!) I will NEVER forget the origin of the word SINCERE.

It literally means SINE (without) CERE (wax). In ancient times, holes and cracks in stone statues were filled with wax as a way to hide imperfections. A statue that was without any imperfections was said to be “without wax” or SINCERE.

Now whenever I hear the word sincere, I always think of a noble, perfectly carved stone statue, and then I think of the countenance (another one of his vocabulary words) of Mr. B.

He inspired me to try and get along in this world “without wax” ever since!

I’m willing to bet you’ll never think of SINCERE the same way again.

What words have taken on a special meaning for you?

Don Power -

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I’m a Social Media Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Author of Twitter for Skeptics. I show you how to use Social Media to get more leads and discover opportunities you never even knew existed!

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uberVU - social comments
December 22, 2009 at 10:49 am
How to Ruin Your Reputation in One Easy Step — donpower.ME
December 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm


manilacondominiums December 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I’m extremely impressed with your writing abilities and also with the layout to your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to look a nice blog like this one today..

Jorge M. Perez@apogee beach fl luxury condos October 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Hey Don,

This is the first time to know the origin of the word SINCERE. Honestly this impresses me. “Without wax” perfect! Additional knowledge for me. Thanks Don! Would definitely share this to everyone I know :)

ZXT December 20, 2009 at 10:25 am

Well I didn’t know that history. One thing I know and I am sure is I am sincere whenever I say I love you to my 5 year old son. I’ve never been sincere to anyone before.
.-= ZXT´s last blog ..7 ways to attract comments in your blog =-.

Don Power December 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Thanks for your comment ZXT!

yes – I have 3 young kids of my own and they have a whole new way of teaching you about what it means to be sincere. Your 5 year old is probably old enough to get a charge out of the without wax explanation.

I’m not even surprised anymore at how much complex stuff kids can actually understand if you give them the opportunity!

Cheers man! Hope to see you around the posts!

- Don

TheInfoPreneur December 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Bloody impressive post this one. I actually read it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

It is vital in everything you do to be sincere. People are clever and know when someone is being nice or helpfull for their own gains.

Great post Don, well worth a re-tweet!
.-= TheInfoPreneur´s last blog ..The Fight in The Tiger =-.

Don Power December 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Infopreneur!

Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. How exactly do bloggers find the time to stay on top of everything? haha!

I’ve always loved words and now that I think about it, I think it’s BECAUSE of this teacher and his use of vocabulary quizzes (as opposed to spelling bees, Bs?). Come to think of it, I don’t think the other Grade 7 classes in my school were learning vocab at that level. I’m pretty sure this was his own initiative.

And when was the last time you saw school and initiative mentioned in the same sentence??

I’ve seen some great posts on your blog recently. (Including about blogging over Christmas). As for me, I’ll be away from the computer for a few days but in the meantime have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, James!

- Don

Don Power December 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Oh – by the way, James, have you been following the newbie blogger who deliberately and falsely accused ExtremeJohn of plagarism just to get some traffic to his blog?

I was looking for your post on building a following by choosing the path of integrity but I couldn’t locate it.

My blog is DOFOLLOW enabled now, so if you know your post that I’m talking about please drop a link to it in the comments of:

How to Ruin Your Reputation in One Easy Step


- Don

Heidi Cool December 18, 2009 at 5:50 am

Interesting. I guess that means my ears aren’t always sincere!

Some years ago one of the literacy organizations was doing an awareness campaign where they asked people to choose a favorite word and explain why they liked it. I chose “vicarious” for its meaning as described in the 3rd definition in Merriam-Webster: “experienced or realized through imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experience of another” (Latin vicarius, from vicis change, alternation, stead).

I picked vicarious because it seems to exemplify what reading is all about. Through books, magazines and blogs we can experience the world of human experience, just as I was able to vicariously experience a moment of your life in 7th grade.
.-= Heidi Cool´s last blog ..Blogging as the backbone of a social media strategy =-.

Don Power December 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm

hahah! I was wondering when smoeone ws going to do a the on the wax association!

Very interesting about the root of vicarious – “change”. Perhaps by living vicarously through others, it’s a call to change and to start living our own experiences inSTEAD.

Great word!

Thanks for your comment Heidi!

Merry Christmas or Merry Xmas – whichever you prefer – hahah!

- Don

Kikolani December 17, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Well, after reading this, sincere certainly has a new meaning to me. What a great teacher… I’m sure at the time it seemed like a tough instructor, but in retrospect, look at what you learned! I love hearing about teachers who go beyond making students just memorize and regurgitate facts, and actually makes them do something meaningful to make the lesson stick.

~ Kristi
.-= Kikolani´s last blog ..Is Closing Blog Comments a Good Idea? =-.

Don Power December 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Hey Kikolani!

Yes, I’m sure I will always remember this teacher. He always valued learning and taught me to strive to be the best student I could be.

Thanks for your comment!


- Don

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