Stop using Realness to justify your actions!
A very common thing I see in our society today is this perception that you can do anything as long as you are being authentic.
Don’t you think this creates a sense of unlimited freedom?
Besides, is there such a thing as unlimited freedom?
Is society slowly eliminating the concept of right and wrong, moral and immoral?
Don’t you agree that it is necessary for us to confront our own weaknesses for the sake of “being real”?
David Brooks describes it perfectly in his book The Road to Character and I quote:
“The consumer marketplace encourages us to live by a utilitarian calculus, to satisfy our desires and lose sight of the moral stakes involved in everyday decisions… You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You follow your desires wherever they take you, and approve of yourself so long as you are not hurting anyone else”
This discussion really triggered me when I was watching an interview with a well known celebrity in Hollywood. That artist was being heavily criticized by the media and the general public for their “provocative behaviour” and when they decided to speak up, this is what they had to say:
“You are thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it! Like.. I didn’t even think about it …. that’s just me !”
Well behaved people are not Fake
What frustrates me is the fact that those same people hate on others who try hard to present the best versions of themselves by calling them “Fake”.
The ironic part is that they are also the ones lecturing others on the ethics of being judgmental.
Yes. Fake people do exist.
It is someone who pretends to be a person that he is not. He is still another version of himself and never actually adopted that “fake” character… he never did identify with it.
What I am trying to say is that the people who chose to justify their bad behaviour with the “I’m being real” argument are actually not being real at all.
The true meaning of being “Real”
The entire notion of “Real character” has been shifted completely.
In contemporary society, we are made to believe that being real is about accepting oneself with all its strengths and weaknesses while denying the importance of self-control . The same message prevails on TV, social media and honestly… everywhere!
What happened to self discipline and will power?
What about self development and thriving to become the best versions of ourselves?
Being Real is about expressing your feelings, emotions and opinions without playing roles that do not reflect your true self.
BUT it does not end there.
Think about it for a moment.
What if your real self is a matter of being a jerk to other people?
Does that give you any right whatsoever to go around and harass people? Today’s culture makes you believe that the answer to this question is yes. When in fact, it is NOT!
Me being ME… you being YOU… Us being REAL!
It’s more than just self expression.
It is the practice of accepting but also CONFRONTING our true selves by challenging our weaknesses with the ultimate goal of becoming better people.
Your flaws are negative traits that require corrective actions for your own good and the good of the world around you.
First, recognize your Real Self
The most crucial thing about all of this is making an effort to recognize what you actually are and what you stand for.
You need to find yourself before anything else.
Once you have that figured out, you can start to reflect and seek improvements through knowledge and experience. After all, that’s part of our life’s journey and that’s how you build a character.
No one is perfect. No one can ever be.
Yet that does not mean that you should stop pursuing progress and development.
If perfection is not attainable, you better believe that growth is.