and make the ordinary extraordinary

The age of authenticity

As we were walking, Tabitha and myself, we were talking about our 20-year-old selves, and what we would say to them if we ran into them. What would be our advice? The essence of our conclusion was: “like who you are, develop who it is that you are called to be, and enjoy all of you, warts and all, because none of us are perfect”. Suddenly we realized that this was not only a voice intended for our past, our younger version, but one that holds value at any time, past, present or future, especially the present. And now with the advent of the Internet, this knowledge becomes more important and powerful than ever, as a tool for designing the life that you’re interested in, the one you were born to live.
Here’s why:
In the 80’s most information came through our standard TV set without a lot of diversity or choice; 5 selections of the same. And it was their vision that told us who we were and who it is that we could become, as a few dominated and controlled the information stream. Of course you could turn it off, and in hindsight we probably should have, in fact that may still be just as relevant to today, but overall your options were limited.
Then came the Internet and shook it all up. Now you can find whatever mainstream or fringe stuff you’re interested in, whatever ideas take your fancy. Gone is the one size fits all production. TV stations hemorrhage advertising revenue as the dollars fly elsewhere. You no longer have to watch Bert Newton if he doesn’t do it for you (nothing against Bert).
Now the new revolution gives us a chance, a chance to make it our own, a chance to discover who it is that we are, a chance to believe. Previously you were told, now you get to tell. This pattern is reflected in our popular culture as those on the fringe move more to the centre and authenticity becomes the new platform for success. Now we want “you”, and all of it.
Of course there will always be the other side, the franchised comfort fit that we all know and trust, it’s balance, and this side needs a voice too, but it no longer dominates the centre like it once did, and that’s the difference.
Now we have the voice.
In fact globally we have the power to take down a government, if the time is right and our hearts are congruent.
What is now called for is the authentic self: brilliant, talented and especially flawed, that can stand bright in the shadow of criticism. The age of authenticity becomes a time to look, to search and to find who it is that we are, a time to share what it is that we find, and a time to enjoy and celebrate what it is that makes each of us uniquely human.
And that for me is the best that the modern era has to offer.    
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