What Is Authenticity?
When we think of authenticity or authentic, we think of real, truthful, not a copy, to be trusted as real. Lacking falsehood or misrepresentation. This may be referred to documents such as deeds or certificates of authenticity – i.e., to authenticate an artwork or a precious item such as gold and alike. Authenticity in humans also refers to the level of purity and wholesomeness, human nature, and characteristics.
As a characteristic in human-beings, authenticity could be seen as truthfulness, communicating one’s mind. Not just one’s thoughts but to stay true to oneself, to one’s wants and needs. First, one must have a real sense of who one is. Furthermore, to be vulnerable and reveal one’s emotions of pain and sorrow or weaknesses and shortcomings. To say what one means and to mean what one says. In a way, that looking from the outside, people can verify that one’s actions, speech, and mindset are in alignment.
Mahatma Gandhi believed this alignment and harmony is happiness. He says, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Of course, authenticity and happiness are of the highest states of human experience and quality. Gandhi’s statement should not be interpreted as harmony between any action, speech, and mindset is happiness. I.e., an angry person’s mind can be filled with hate; expressing this hate and acting upon it would be in harmony, which may include some level of associated satisfaction as well. But is that happiness?
There may be a moment of relief or satisfaction. The fact is that reliable and lasting happiness cannot arise when harming and causing others pain. It’s without a doubt that most people who have sought revenge afterward don’t feel so good nor relieved. It also is a natural phenomenon that others who are harmed would eventually and consequentially take action and invoke some level of harm to the angry person. Thus, disturbing the momentary satisfaction, which was based on wrong understanding, to begin with. Therefore, wisdom, compassion, and a clear mind are a must in being happy and authentic.
Becoming authentic (pure, wholesome, genuine, compassionate, and wise) is a work of art, one that human beings should strive to cultivate. The ego’s limitations do not hinder a fully developed authentic-self. A fully developed authentic-self is evolved with refined skills, compassion, and wisdom to express and live as one desires, without taking away or harming any being along the way.