Why Bother With Authenticity?

Why Bother With Authenticity?

Back in the 1960s there was a game show called, “To Tell The Truth.” Three contestants, all claiming to be the same person, attempted fooling a panel of four celebrities into believing they were the real McCoy and not the impostor.  The panel of four, peppered the panel of three, with questions attempting to sift out the impostor and identify the bona fide individual. Then the celebrities cast their vote, stating which contestant they believed held the authentic identity of the person claiming to possess the unusual or distinguishing talent.  Not until the very end, when the host said, “Will the real _____________please stand up,” did anyone know for sure which individual was the official inventor, professor, or person possessing the extraordinary ability. Oftentimes, the panel of celebrities were surprised they could be duped so easily. 

To Dupe or Not To Dupe

Being honest with others begins with being honest with ourselves and being truthful with ourselves takes not only time and wherewithal, but also a motive. What incentive moves me from being an impostor to being authentic with myself and with others? What is the payoff for being the true to life person that I am? Is it more profitable to be genuine or disingenuous? 

While growing up, I naturally noticed others around me. My brother Bruce was the most carefree and adventurous of my siblings. I wanted to be him. Then there was Cynthia who was groovy and organic. I wanted to be her. Diane was creative while Beth personified sophistication. I wanted to be them. In short, I wanted to be someone other than me.  

During my high school days, Twiggy was a featured model in a magazine that I read called Seventeen. I tried hard to look like her. Then while raising and homeschooling my three sons, I aspired to emulate other mothers whose pictures and stories appeared in homeschooling magazines. They appeared intelligent and confident. Again, I wanted to be them, not me. But, I wasn’t any of the above mentioned individuals and attempting to match my stride to someone else’s only proved to be a strenuous and clumsy walk for me. 

One of the incentives that moved me away from  bamboozling myself and others was the amount of energy it took for me to be someone other than I was. Somewhere along the line I had an epiphany: why push myself into being something other than I was? Why not stop and shed the falsehoods? The questions I asked myself put me on a track of truthfulness where I found an acceptable stride for myself.

Why bother with authenticity? It is worth shedding falsehoods. Authentic people are reliable, dependable, credible and realistic. The real McCoys won’t try to dupe you.