KEW Episode 67: Authenticity

Definition of authentic (Taken from Merriam-Webster)

1 a: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact paints an authentic picture of our society

b: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse

c: made or done the same way as an original authentic Mexican fare

2: not false or imitationREALACTUALan authentic cockney accent

3: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions

4 aof a church mode ranging upward from the keynote— compare PLAGAL sense 1

b of a cadence progressing from the dominant chord to the tonic— compare PLAGAL sense 2

5 obsolete AUTHORITATIVE

Geeze, that’s thorough, eh? But let me summarize:

Factual

Same or similar

Real

True

Sincere (like a pumpkin patch)

So, yeah, something real, or representative of something real. But most interesting is that many of these depict a thing REPRESENTING another thing. And that RESEMBLANCE is either good (authentic, real, conforming, true) or not (not authentic, fake, different, false). And remember, a dictionary is book of what we THINK words mean, not what they necessarily mean.

In the context of the Are vs Should Problem, authenticity is behaving in the world the way you feel/want/believe you behave in your head.

On the surface, this may seem like it means you must live in your Are to be authentic. I don’t believe this is true, however.

I think we all exhibit a certain amount of Shoulds throughout our lives, no matter how hard we try not to. We are going to slip. We are human.

The goal is not to live 100% Are and 0% Should, it’s to do the best you can. I don’t see any other way around it. We always build in an error term. A human error term. Which provides a degree of . . . . missing the mark. Failing. Being Inauthentic. It’s ok!

So there’s two points in this Episode, really. One is that the Are is your Authentic Self, and we have been discussing authenticity for the past twenty or so episodes – to point out and use the common vernacular. And the second point is that we are not trying to be 100% perfect, or 100% anything. The utility of a concept like authenticity is as a target to aim for, not something to become.

Much more in this Episode, available as a direct podcast download here:

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Preview KEW Episode 67: Authenticity

To be real. To be yourself. To be congruent. To have integrity. Lots of definitions and we all think we know what it means. And, to some degree, we probably do.

To be authentic generally means to not lie to the world. To not wear a mask, or pretend to be someone else.
I think you probably try to be authentic. But if you’re like me, you probably miss the mark now and then.

Why is it so hard to be ourselves?

We’re scared of what people will say. Or that we’ll be shamed. Or because we ARE ashamed.

So being authentic isn’t easy – but it shouldn’t be so hard. This week I’ll examine authenticity, the ‘movement’ to be more authentic, and why we shouldn’t be ashamed of how difficult it is to be ourselves.

Full Episode Friday, right here on KEW.