Genuineness is identical to authenticity…
It’s defined as the quality of being free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere (Dictionary.com). Modern society desperately needs more examples and acts of this profound characteristic.
In my 43 years, I’ve combed opportunities, attempted success, and struggled to overcome odds. As a high-functioning individual with two mental disabilities, I’ve experienced the powerful and damaging stigma that accompanies any social or economic disadvantage. It comes from the media, from measures in legislation, and even from within the health community. As a result, I’ve made self-improvement an inherent part of my journey; for, if we don’t know ourselves, we can neither heed nor respect those around us. It becomes impossible to envision and encounter the humanity in others – peace and progress become afterthoughts.
When I think of people who made significant differences in my recovery, it’s those who treated me with respect, with dignity, and unceasingly believed in my potential as a human being. They weren’t limited in their expectations of me by what they saw or knew. In fact, they prompted self-discipline by embedding healthy boundaries. After much conflict and uncertainty, I came to understand my own humanity – my competencies and idiosyncrasies. Genuine kindness paved ways to my own self-acceptance. I felt innately whole, not conveniently broken. I became much kinder.
Together, the qualities of authenticity and kindness are the wellsprings for optimal change. My goal is never to dwell on my illnesses, but rather to communicate what I’ve learned from them – how we may choose the path of personal transformation, not self-destruction. Each of us has obstacles and barriers to conquer and rise above. My hope is that my insights manifest new and original ideas within others – that we begin to contemplate our own lives and how we might live more authentically, more honestly.
How important is genuineness to you? Is it attainable? What ways might we create more harmony within, to experience it and express it more around us?
By Kim Bragado for The Authentic Thinker