Authenticity

the temple
Credit: flickr / velomar72

My friend AY and I were out for dinner, and we got to talking about authenticity, and correspondingly, inauthenticity. It was interesting, because we were talking about how everyone seems to see through people who are fake, and how it ultimately comes back to bite you.

A while ago, I subscribed to this blog, about, being awesome and getting stuff done – personal productivity, you know the type. After a while, I unsubscribed because I was bored by it and found it fake. A while later, the guy pops back up on Twitter with a new blog admitting that he hadn’t believed what he was writing himself (and a fresh start, focusing on stuff he did know). I thought I was just being a grouch – I unsubscribed from a number of such blogs.

I admire AY because she is very authentic. Sometimes too fixated on the future, but always terrifyingly, exhaustingly, authentically, herself. I try and surround myself with people who are authentic because few things bother me more than someone having dubious motivations. It bothers me more when someone conceals than when they outright lie. I’m not entirely sure why this is.

Anyway, it made me think about the first KW Awesome Foundation grant. How we had all these ideas of what we would value, but what struck me – and I think others – about the guy that we ended up funding was that he was so authentic. He had the purest motivations, and they shone through when he spoke.

I’ve been struggling to write something lately, and terrified by my upcoming Ignite talk. But it occurs to me, that what I find most powerful in others is being real, authentic, true. Perhaps that is the best thing I can do myself. Wish me luck!

9 thoughts on “Authenticity

  1. Here’s the ‘grey’ side of authenticity. I believe that sometimes inauthenticity is often a by-product of being unaware, unsure of oneself. I see it a lot in people, they don’t really know themselves, so they try on all sorts of different hats hoping to find the one that fits. Sometimes inauthentic people put one hat on for a very long time until it almost feels real, and when they discover it isn’t, reality comes crashing in on them in a pretty brutal way. I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel empathy for the inauthentic. I absolutely do not like dishonesty, but inauthenticity is different. There can be something vulnerable there.

    1. Agreed. Reminiscent of the high school kids smoking outside at lunch, and only 2 of them really want to be there. I’m compassionate towards it, but I think there’s a lot to be said for trial and error, which involves failure, which our society is vehemently afraid of. Such a shame.

    2. You are totally right about the inauthentic, it’s often not dishonestly, just being unsure of oneself.  I should be less judgemental! I often feel, though, that I don’t have time for the wonderful people I know, so it’s hard to make time for those who seem unwonderful. But then, perhaps that is how filter bubbles happen.

  2. If you haven’t read it yet, I totally recommend reading Siddhartha (Hesse). I read it just after graduating from college, sitting by a pool one sunny day and it gave me this sense of power in being free to achieve self through experience rather than having to have a set path planned way into the future that may or may not be the right fit. 

    1. I was browsing my friend’s Kindle this morning, and he has that book. About to graduate as well, actually. Is there something about the book that’s just perfectly well written for recent grads, or is that just a coincidence?

      1. It’s been nearly fourteen years (crazy how fast they have gone) since I read the book and I am curious to read it again and see if it means something different.

    2. Thanks for the book recommendation – no Kindle version yet, so I’ve added it to my wishlist. Hopefully they go digital soon!

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