Authentic

Authentic: (adj) of undisputed origin; genuine.dictionary with letter A

I remember it like yesterday because when it happened, the combination of surprise, disappointment and confusion nearly overwhelmed me.

I met an older fellow who happened to be in my line of work and I immediately took a liking to him. I struggled to get his attention so we could become friends and maybe end up doing some projects together. But try as I might, he had absolutely no interest in entwining our efforts.

I was offended.

I was upset.

I thought this guy was cool, and the fact that he didn’t think I was cool just wasn’t cool.

So to avoid going crazy, I decided I would ask him about his indifference towards me.

I had just finished sharing my talents at a meeting and the two of us were sitting over a cup of coffee at a restaurant when I worked up the courage to pose the question.

“Why don’t you like me?”

He looked at me with a perplexed expression, hoping, I assume, to avoid any confrontation. I challenged him and begged him not to be insincere.

So, taking a big swig of coffee for courage, he explained.

“You are dangerous. At least, dangerous to me. You see, I do what I do because I’ve always done it, gotten pretty good at it, and see it as a way to make money without hurting too many people. Honestly, I don’t believe everything I say. And you probably have noticed–I don’t live everything I believe. You, on the other hand, are frightening. You are authentic. You are real. You have a childlike heart when you talk about your faith. It scares me. Actually, it convicts me because it makes me wonder why I don’t want that for myself. So of course I don’t want to work with you–and I never will. You remind me that what I preach can actually be done, and honestly, I just don’t want to work that hard.”

To my surprise, he downed the last bit of coffee in his cup, stood to his feet, shook my hand, and walked out of the restaurant.

I never saw him again.

In that moment, I temporarily wished to be a little less sincere.

I wanted to be friends with this friend.

But the power of being authentic is that it gives you a storyline that you don’t have to memorize because it’s your own.

But it also alienates you from those who just want to tell stories.

 

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