“I love friends, I want more friends. I love smiles. That is a fact. How to develop smiles? There are a variety of smiles. Some smiles are sarcastic. Some smiles are artificial-diplomatic smiles. These smiles do not produce satisfaction, but rather fear or suspicion. But a genuine smile gives us hope, freshness. If we want a genuine smile, then first we must produce the basis for a smile to come.”
~Dalai Lama

I love the word genuine, don't you?  The genuine article, the real deal; not some knock-off wannabe.  There are just some things that I insist be genuine...Coca-Cola, for example.  If I'm going to splurge and have a cola soft drink, it's going to be "the real thing", not some store brand, and no, not Pepsi (sorry all you Pepsi fans).  Levis, the same thing.  Nothing fits or feels quite the same as the genuine jeans (don't they still say genuine on the button closure?)
gen-u-ine, –adjective
1. possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real.
2. properly so called: a genuine case of smallpox.
3. free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person.
I like people who are genuine, as well.  Up-front and honest, not trying to be something they are not.  Of course, these people are much harder to spot, as they don't have a genuine label stamped on their forehead.  Spend some time with them, however, and genuine people reveal themselves to be truly what they claim to be, regardless of the situation. 

In my experience, it's the more mature or perhaps seriously ill ones that are the most genuine.  Sincerity rings through them as they express what they want or need.  They don't have as much time to mess around with pretense.  They accept themselves, both their strengths and weakness, clearly and honestly, having long since shucked the persona they desired for themselves.  Knowing exactly where you stand with souls such as these is, well...refreshing.

So, how does one achieve that authenticity, that realness?  Does anyone still want to be genuine?  When I was a kid playing in the neighborhood with my friends, we were genuine.  No pretense there; we all had to walk to school in the rain, ride the hand-me-down bike from an older sibling (regardless of color) and live with whatever hairstyle our mom thought was 'cute'.  It didn't matter, though, because we were friends, spent a lot of time together and watched out for each other.  Perhaps that's the key; it may be that being genuine requires a certain amount of humility.  In fact, accepting ourselves for what we are involves admitting our failures and weakness...and being alright with them.  Not alright because we can't help it, but alright that we are human and making mistakes is part of life, even while striving to be better.  Maybe being genuine insists that we are just plain honest about how we feel and act, instead of trying to be someone else's idea of what we should be.  Trying to be something we are not, even with the best intentions, is phony and disingenuous.

Be genuine to yourself, first and foremost.  Be genuine to your friends, to your neighbor and the stranger in the grocery store.  Be genuine with your kids and your parents.  Be sincere and honest.  Be authentically you.  You owe it to yourself to be exactly how the Creator intended...genuinely you.

Man no longer treasures what he thought was genuine once he discovers it is false.”
~Barry Long


Ari C'rona said…
Man, every time you post something like this, I end up being pretty introspective - yeah, I'm working on
accepting myself just as the Creator made me, yet always working on those rougher aspects of myself...

Thanks, my dear friend. :o)
Jedi-J said…
beautiful write up master, simply beautiful.