Sincerity and Politics

Vedide Fanosçu
4 minutes

High SchoolLike every other student in senior year, we were focused on the university entrance exam and neglected other subjects that were not exam subjects. One of these classes was our English composition class. Except for one or two of us, no one was doing the essay assignment. Every lesson, these two people would raise their fingers and read their essays, and we would teach the lesson based on their assignments. Aware of the situation, our teacher, in order to put an end to this, said that he wanted to listen to different people’s homework this time and started to ask us all in turn. Every time someone got up to the blackboard, they would resort to politics, come up with some acceptable excuse that was not a lie and say that they could not write the essay and sit down. Some said they couldn’t write because they were studying for an exam for another course that day, some said they had an exam in the classroom, some said they couldn’t write this time because they had time for other assignments. Our teacher listened calmly to every speaker and made no comment. Finally, one of our friends stood up and calmly said, “I didn’t do my homework and I had no reason or excuse for not doing it.” For some reason, the class laughed sarcastically at his answer. The teacher, who had been listening to everyone patiently and calmly until that moment, suddenly began to scold our friend with great anger.

Isn’t everything up to this point like a normal and ordinary memory? The reason why this incident stuck with me so much was this: the teacher was scolding our friend not for not doing the homework or for not having an excuse, but because he was so comfortable that he didn’t even need to make an excuse. That amazed me. I knew my friend very well. He did not give this answer out of indifference or irresponsibility. As a matter of fact, I was so fixated on this event that years later, when we talked about this memory, I asked him about his intentions and confirmed them. My friend admitted and confessed his guilt out of complete sincerity and truthfulness. Of course, his sincere confession deserved to be punished for his mistake, but he was punished and scolded in public for his sincerity, not for not doing his homework.

The mocking laughter may be taken as an indication that his sincerity was perceived as a daring challenge. Perhaps that is how the teacher perceived it and saw our friend’s sincerity and truthfulness as a dare, a challenge that shook his authority. The teacher, whose authority seemed to have been undermined by the answer “I didn’t do the assignment” without even a pretext, showed disproportionate anger at the answer. How right was this behavior? Was the reason for this rebuke the arrogance of the ego or was it to ensure the respect due to the office?

Politics is a word that means to manage something, to run a business, to dominate. So when we want to govern something, we resort to politics. Why do we want to govern?

We want to be in control, to manage and protect ourselves in the face of situations, people and events that are likely to harm our interests and existence. Then let me ask you a few questions for reflection.

When is politics and sincerity legitimate and acceptable?

Do we engage in politics for our own sake, or do we engage in politics to protect the truth in ourselves and out of respect for ourselves, or do we engage in politics for the benefit and protection of others?

When is sincerity, when is truthfulness and sincerity, when is frivolity? What is the limit at which they stop?

Where do these borders begin and end?

Does sincerity bother us? Why and when does it bother you?

I don’t want to limit you with my answer, so I will ask the questions and leave you.

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