Authenticity – What is it? How do we know when we are being authentic?

It’s a thorny question really and is there a right answer?  To illustrate my point I’d like to share a short story. The scene – Paris September 2005.

We have an iconic landmark. Very pretty it is too – looks great from a distance.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Probably the further away the better I was thinking at this point in time.   Not so my friend however, who’s pushing me to go first.   This is the me who gets dizzy looking over a first floor balcony.  Enter from stage left – a great dilemma – what’s more authentic for me to do at this point?  Should I step out side my box and onto the elevator ?  Its looking P-R-E-T-T-Y scary from down here.  Every fibre of my being is screaming at me to stay on the ground…… Perhaps I should just give into this and regret  and excuse my missed chance for ever after.

Or do I close my eyes, grit my teeth and pray to all gods great and small that all will be well if I do this thing?

Now you might argue that I was being inauthentic because I was succumbing to peer pressure, which I certainly did.  Or you might say I was being truly authentic in my endeavour to become a better human being by overcoming my fear.  If we don’t push our boundaries we limit the extent of our human experience, and might never know just what we are capable of.

The same arguments can be extended to the arena of art and creativity.  We are constantly being challenged to extend beyond the boundaries of what we know.  Are you brave enough to get into the lift of your personal Eiffel Tower – what ever it might be?

Picture Credit: Joe Bonita

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