“In all unimportant matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential. In all important matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential.”
Fridays at 4pm: When everyone is either relaxing or getting ready to go out, I get ready to have my brains picked. The discussion sessions are amazing. Every. Single. Time.
The past session was no different. The last part of discussion was dedicated to Oscar Wilde. Our objective was not to agree or disagree with Wilde, but rather, to ponder and make something out of it.
Wilde has always had a special place in my heart. He was first introduced to me by a good friend, who had performed some of his plays. He then made his way into my first real Advanced Literature Thesis Paper. Wilde is a hell-of-a-guy. He is wittiness, cynic , hilarity, darkness, and elusivity all rolled into one. You can never quite take him seriously, yet there is truth in his words. When you think you finally got him, he is still one step ahead. He is, of course, controversial in his time for his writings often challenged social norms. His death was tragic – punished for engaging in homosexual acts.
The above quote is just one out of the many that jumped out at me. There is truth in it, no? People who emit charm tend to get further in life, assuming all other things constant. Even studies show that first impressions are often based on how you say rather than what you say. Presentations today use all kinds of visuals, props, humor and creativity in hopes of standing out. Interviews require you to present the best you – no one wants to see the real, stripped down version of you – that is for yourself and the closest people to you to know. I like this quote, because it is not afraid of exposing what’s really on our minds. But for the sake of being critical: style and sincerity are not mutually exclusive. We can be sincere and still catch people’s attention. It takes skill and perhaps a little bit of talent. Wilde wouldn’t know, because he is too charming.
To leave you off with some food for thought/ I laughed at this:
“The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.”