05 Is Authenticity Overrated?
In this episode, we do some thinking out loud about a conflict we see in our culture and ourselves, between being authentic and being appropriate.
Perhaps this conflict is because "authenticity" is misunderstood, overvalued, and too narrowly defined.
And perhaps that is due to our society’s assumption about what a person actually is.
We mistakenly assume a person is a singular, isolated entity, separate from all else (and that therefore, they can claim authenticity if they merely express their thoughts and feelings without regard for others, with little or no filter.)
But in reality, each individual is merely a part of a larger entity called a community, a city, state, country, a global village.
And how we conduct ourselves affects not just others, but ourselves…not only because we live among those others. But also because our own self-respect and strength of character is affected by the choices we make.
With our choices, we either strengthen or weaken the presence of life-affirming virtues and skills in our own community, such as respect, civility, problem solving, and teamwork.
In our quest for authenticity, let’s remember that by our words and deeds, we create the society we live in.
What kind of society do we desire to create? Are our choices authentic to those desires, and the values we hold?