You can measure your level of authenticity by merely looking around you. If you look around and most everyone you see has the same or a similar car, hairstyle, attire, personality, jargon/slang, schedule and ideologies that you have then you are more of a follower than an authentic person.
To some degree, human personality allows for some level of following the trends of others as we observe what is working for someone else and affirm that such an approach may work for us also.
However, to mimic traits that are not facilitative but become more debilitative in our own life, it is critical that we stop and measure how authentic, how true we are being to the needs of self and our own well being.
Anything that is facilitative will offer growth and have a positive outcome while anything that is debilitative will ensure destruction and lead to a negative outcome.
Understanding who we are is the result of being authentic. Being true to not only our desires but our needs will promote self-awareness and therefore a better understanding of self.
It is vital to be true to oneself and follow only trends and behaviors that compliment and facilitate our true needs and desires. In doing so, we will come to understand what works for us; More importantly, we will come to understand that what works for others may not work for us.
As an example, a well known rapper Snoop Dogg (double-g that is), is notoriously known for indulging in smoking cannabis, in fact, he has written songs glorifying how he indulges both medically and methodically in the drug daily and apparently, it works for him.
Snoop Dogg’s money is very long and by being authentic, he has found a way to do what he loves most while he maintains success in the corporate world.
In comparison, many attempt to indulge in such a lifestyle that is not befitting to their true needs and desires. Cravings alone do not constitute as a need or a desire and indulging in such leisure activities while priorities need to be met is debilitating.
Many in society have been classically conditioned to seek such medications at times when one is “down and out” but in actuality, one should always seek sobriety and clarity of mind to ensure the proper alignment of priorities during times of crisis. See Daily thought: classical conditioning
Leisure activities like riding around all day knocking/playing your favorite song, social intoxication gatherings etc. should never take the place of prioritizing money options or that which maintains ones lively hood.
If you notice that you are mostly leisure living and smoke and/or drink everyday but you have yet to have your own place of residence where you pay the rent or mortgage, you are not being authentic because you are not being true to your true needs and desires.
If you notice that you are mostly leisure living and smoke and/or drink everyday but you despise and hate on others by spreading rumors about them, lie on them or take various approaches to malign their progress on any level, you are not being authentic because you are not being true to the natural complement of life which is natural affection and praise of others and their well being and/or success.
If you live a life trying to mimic what you see as honorable, fun and/or amazing, be sharp enough to take a step back and pull yourself together. The greatest people know their limits and never indulge in anything as a fad. Only continue to do that which works for you. Being authentic will help you figure out what works for you.
Sacramento resident whose first initial is O. affirmed that he had been smoking cannabis sense at an early age as he would indulge with his older brothers, sisters and cousins.
O. said that he never was proud of his early indulgence but he came to understand that many saw the smoking of cannabis as a fad or something that many take a sense of pride in.
O. claimed that he frequently managed usage of marijuana because he felt it was useful when he was at his greatest success or at times when he was doing well but the stress of daily life caused for a need of more relaxation.
O. shared that one day he was sitting amongst his family and some in-laws when they began to fire-up a marijuana cigarette/blunt. O shared that he around that time, he was working two jobs and had just recently affirmed that he would probably medicate again for a while as he believed it would help him maintain feelings of relaxation between jobs so he asked his brother to pass the blunt/cigarette his way.
O claimed that he almost laughed when one of his older siblings said, “nah, don’t give him that” like he was a kid because from O’s own recollection, he started smoking as a young kid well before his older sibling.
O. shared that he realized then that the drug gave others some sense of “coolness” or pride.
O. shared another incident when he was sitting amongst family and a cousin from out of town was visiting. O. shared that at times his nerves get so bad from stress that his hands shake or his nerves act in such a manner that he has a hard time even holding a cup or glass. O. shared that in such times, he medicates until his nerves go back to a state of management or when he feels he’s ready.
In this particular event, O. shared that he even has trouble rolling a marijuana cigarette/blunt as his hands and nerves tend to get so out of sync. O. shared that his cousin began a conversation about knowing how to roll and O. could tell that his cousin was trying to highlight the trouble O. was having with rolling a marijuana cigarette.
O. said that on both occasions, he realized that people saw the drug as a fad and compete with one another through indulgence and usage. O. said that he never liked being the “star,” the “high-sider.”
O shared that the need for spotlight in the inner city causes too much competition that later results in hate as people constantly attempt to outshine and/or out-do others.
Overall, being authentic may not come with the same rewards one might get from being the “star” of everything but that being authentic is facilitative and promotes self-awareness, self-growth and self-understanding.
While we are all constantly trying to understand, find or even remember who we are, we must be careful not to step outside our priorities, our true needs and desires for superficial, short term praise, affiliation or perceptions.
When you take time to cater to your true needs and desires, you are guaranteed to find the best you. Do not be afraid to appear a certain way. In a lifespan, I have met people who hide certain books or text they like to read or topics they have interest in because they fear losing a persona or gaining some unwanted perception.
Truth is, the real you is the whole you, raw and uncut. There will always be negative traits that we may not want others to see or know about but being the real you will automatically shed the unfavorable parts otherwise one would not have knowledge of perceiving them as unfavorable anyway.
Being authentic is a work in progress but one should be willing to work at it.
NOTE: I. the Sacramento African American Issues Examiner do not promote the usage of any substance legal or illegal.
I will never judge or discriminate the activities of another; I will offer that nothing is better for the mind than sobriety or absence of any substance legal or illegal especially in times of self analysis or development.
I acknowledge that each individual is allowed and responsible to that which they feel is appropriate for them whether it be little or no usage of any substance.
I will further offer that authenticity helps one develop an understanding of what is healthy or unhealthy for them. Constant measures of self-progress will help one to determine what they should allow their self to indulge in or refrain from.