Numerous conversations have been swirling around recently about “authentic” with what’s real and what’s fake. Authentic means genuine, real, honest, transparent, reliable, trustworthy and what people often refer to as “up front.” In most circles that is to be preferred over “down low”, evasive, secretive, coy, shifty and misleading. Some of these recent conversations have to do with MSM (Mainstream Media).
Consider the opposites of authentic for a moment. We are seeing that in people in positions of enormous responsibilities – dishonesty, deception, denial, fraud and corruption. It seems to be a disease of epidemic proportions. Why, how and where do people, and especially so-called leaders, get off track and head toward pending disasters? As if natural disasters weren’t bad enough, we have people willing to risk personal disaster in the name of what? Personal gain? You can make a list of people here on both sides, those whom you consider authentic and those whom you believe are not. See what you can learn. If you’re willing to share your list, please send it along. It could be good material for further research.
Being authentic means people showing up as they we are and not trying to create an impression that they hope others might find attractive, appealing and desirable. There are those who subscribe to “fake it until you make it” and that can easily result in “fake it until you break it” as well as a breach of trust. If anyone is confused about authenticity, there must be some internal conflict that contributes to the confusion. Imagine what might lead to a struggle between being honest and open or being dishonest and secretive. Is there fear of making someone uncomfortable? What other fears might contribute to the confusion?
An author of a recent post entitled “Confused About Being Authentic” said that there are too many interpretations of the word “authentic,” Authentic is authentic, not fake. You can test for authenticity whether in a person or in an antique. Watch Antiques Roadshow for examples. There are signs that tell us whether it is “real” or not. Does it stand the test of time? Does it hold up under further scrutiny? Are there indicators where it varies from the original? What made us believe that it was real in the first place? Is there a source that can authenticate it and certify the object in question? Now go back and change the word “it” in the previous six sentences in this paragraph to “someone” and you have criteria for making an informed judgment and conclusion.
People need to be comfortable and confident in their own skins. That isn’t always easy but it’s worth the effort. The author of the post “Confused…..” said that requiring effort to be genuine is “bad news.” Bad news? It can be effortless and here is the good news. Some effort to insure an accurate and honest portrayal of who they are is surely worth a little effort. The question is if someone is uncomfortable, who and why?
The goal does not need to be to be sure that everyone else is comfortable. The goal needs to be sure that people are who they say they are whether in words or in actions. That has integrity and requires no explanation because they are heard and seen for who they are as well as being seen clearly in what they are doing and why they are doing it.
What is fascinating are people who by what they say or do reveal who they are and have very little understanding that the results are unattractive, undesirable and unappealing. That’s authentic too and a basis for an informed opinion or judgment, however unfavorable. People get off track when they begin to believe they need to project an image of themselves that is not who they really are. If we know what motivates people we might understand why they either are or are not authentic.