My Webster’s says authentic means that which is “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to fact or reality : TRUSTWORTHY.”

Continuing hot on the trail of authenticity, consider some of the inauthenticities we tolerate daily.  There are multiple examples; I’ll name just a few.  These are in addition to the overarching inauthenticity of our economic system, founded as it is on paper and no actual standard of value.  And certainly, it has escaped only those not paying attention that such maneuvers as bailouts and interest manipulation are not authentically capable of saving our asses.

Our American culture is rife with inauthenticites, and while some may seem harmless enough, consider the waste and harm caused by these (and many other) artificialities of daily life.

1.  Airport Security – Bloggers routinely return from travels with loaded posts about the absurdity of this massive, misguided effort.

2.  The Lottery – My state instituted a lottery a few years back.  I watch the obviously financially challenged buy tickets at the convenience stores, their eyes full of hope.  The proceeds are supposed to go to public education, but we see little evidence of that.

3.  Trans Fats – We’re beginning to expose the inauthenticity of this agent, on which a generation has been raised and now walks around in bodies lined with the indestructible foreign matter.  It’s different from the recent scandals in China, where poison was intentionally introduced into consumables;  I don’t believe the use of trans fats was initially inauthentic, malicious or even stupid, but its continued use is.

4.  Spam and all mass marketing – Yes folks, I am making a bold statement here, but mass marketing is inauthentic.  It is inherently not to be trusted.  It uses vast amounts of resources for a return of something around 3%.  Let’s find more authentic ways to communicate.

5.  Job hatred – This is a biggie.  It is inauthentic to continue hacking away at a daily grind that you hate.  Absolutely no one benefits.  Using excuses like you need the money or the health insurance does not mitigate the situation one iota.  To be authentic, you have to locate your own bootstraps and start tugging.

This last one opens up the deeper challenge in seeking authenticity.  It’s not just about selling appropriately or buying quality products or voting for a trustworthy government:  it’s ultimately about how we live, our personal choices for ourselves, and the kind of life for which we’re willing to settle.


2 comments so far

  1. Steve Shapiro on

    Hi Mary.

    Interesting blog entry.

    I hope that in referencing my blog in point #1, you weren’t calling ME absurd. I assume you were referred to the airport security efforts.

    To be clear, I think that the TSA is performing an important service. OK, it is not 100% perfect, but it is still valuable.

    My main point is that organizations and governments can improve by being more proactive by applying creativity to scenario based planning. Unfortunately, many of the security gymnastics we go through are reactions to failed terrorist plots.

    Thanks again for a thought provoking entry.

    P.S. Your point #5 is my favorite.

  2. maryhruth on

    Steve – Forgive me, I certainly had no intention of misinterpreting your valid points about why there are certain rituals included in airport security. I do hope folks click over to read your entry, as it factually confirms many suspicions. We are all wishing for pro-active solutions instead of all this crisis management.

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