Be Your Authentic Self

Brian and Alisa Murray.

Brian and Alisa Murray.

Perhaps André Gide said it best: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

Predictable. Stable. Contrary. Eccentric. Everybody has known someone who is through and through authentic. At least I hope you have. My goodness it sure seems to be a hard thing to do these days. One thing about being authentic means that sometimes what you believe might actually not be mainstream; it might be a little off from the norm. I remember friends of my mother once telling stories of Nana and “some of the things she would say.” She always spoke her mind, and she never cared a thing about who was listening and if they would be offended. She was true to herself.

As I have gotten older, it has occurred to me the rarity of finding such individuals who are, in fact, authentic. Take, for example, the friends that you associate with each week. How many of them would, if asked, be truthful about something perhaps a little controversial? It is always easier to say what is expected and to not to rock the boat.

When I learned of the forced hiatus of the patriarch of Duck Dynasty, I actually contacted the family for my own interview. I watched as media and religion collided to realize, as usual, that the end of their argument is to agree that there will never be an actual end. One must, in these matters, be cognizant that it was television that came into the Robertson’s home. Viewers know full well what he believes; it’s on camera every week for anyone to see. Our society is in fact guided by the media. Given their prevalence towards political correctness, I, for one, was not surprised by the reaction and the response to the now famous interview. It is, in fact exactly the “authenticity and realness” of Phil Robertson that attracts so many to the show and why they as a now famous brand have such a strong following.

I do not subscribe to everything Phil says; however, he is authentic and that quality, whether you subscribe to his values or detest them, is to be admired. I know few people who will stand by what they believe in without a flying care in the world of what others will think. It is invaluable to be able to feel so confident in what you believe in that what others think is of no consequence for you. We have to learn to be tolerant. How many times have we heard that? With that in mind, we should remember this:  Phil is Phil. He has a right to be Phil. He has never pretended to be anything else but Phil, and for that, we should all be able to accept Phil whether we like it or not.

Take care of you!