This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) Hamlet. Act 1. Sc. 3.
Inundated by fakes and sophisticated counterfeits, people increasingly see the world in terms of real or fake. Authenticity: keeping it real, honest, genuine and true, is all the rage these days. It is becoming the new sensibility in postmodern culture and human condition as a new quality. We crave for true heart: meaning of inherent classical worth in the world where false and exaggerations are rampant. We all demand what is real.
Contemporary industrial and information societies are being commodified and virtualized, with everyday life becoming saturated with “toxic levels of inauthenticity that we are forced to breathe”. Most emails we get are not from people we know or feel we should trust; friends are not “really” friends unless we confirm them on our Myspace or Facebook accounts. Their list goes on with an underlying theme rooted in technology and consumption. In a visual age, we are often provoked by newfangles and enjoy them each day. However, very few contents could be touching and long lasting among them. This seems that contexts have been forgotten or disappeared. We begin to add extra values by wrapping up the essence of contents. People assign the value to looks, package, style and fashion rather than quality and availability.
Authenticity is to be understood as an inherent quality of some object, person or process. Because is it inherent, it is neither negotiable nor achievable. Authenticity cannot be stripped away, nor can it be appropriated. In short, the object, person or process in question either is authentic or is not, period. It is the hot commodity in our society. The thing is, it is not something you can concoct and sell. It is not another mask, persona or costume behind which to hide. Genuine authenticity is a challenge to enact on a regular basis.
“Authentic” is derived from the Greek authentikós, which means “original”, but just being an original does not mean you will be perceived as authentic. You could be an original phony. There is absolutely no need for you to accept another’s version of you and your life unless you choose to stand there with them and take it on. If you know who you are, you do not need to try and convince another person who you are and what you stand for. Real values go deeper to capture attention and loyalty in the end. There is more to the value proposition than you think. Courageously to show the authenticity you have is the greatest weapon, which appeals to more people and brings us together by reaching out. Numerous imitations are simply all about materials, but an original is the only one that we cannot put a price on. The value that we want now is “the unique” rather than “the best”, and what we really want is what we make us happy. Do not be fake. Do not try to be someone you are not. Just be you!
This is a post by David Report contributor Jaeuk Jung.