Genuine

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Genuine

What does it mean to be genuine?

On the sur­face, that might seem like a rather odd, and obvi­ous, ques­tion. Being gen­uine means being real. It entails authen­tic­ity. It incor­po­rates truth­ful thoughts and emo­tions, work­ing together with heart, soul, and spirit to be who we actu­ally are, not who we think we are or wish to be. Or at least it ought to. Sim­ple enough.

That said, being gen­uine does not always imply pos­i­tives. If some­one is an open-​faced jerk, liar, abuser, or what have you, they are to their infin­i­tes­i­mally minute credit at least mak­ing no pre­tense regard­ing their char­ac­ter, or to be more pre­cise lack thereof. Being gen­uine is hardly auto­matic eli­gi­bil­ity for receiv­ing time off due to good behavior.

Very few are gen­uine about what tears at them from within or with­out. The abuse vic­tim care­fully dis­guises her bruises with makeup and her emotional/​mental scars with ratio­nal­iza­tions they are some­how just pun­ish­ment for her sins. The addict hides the bot­tle or weed or pills or syringe or pow­der or crys­tals from all save fel­low addicts, to every­one else deny­ing there is any prob­lem while insist­ing they are com­plete mas­ters of their pre­ferred poi­son. The per­son being chewed up and spit out by the depres­sion mon­ster puts on the hap­pi­est of faces as they pub­licly trip the light fan­tas­tic and pri­vately des­per­ately try to not trip over their lying mind’s mono­track insis­tence there is no relief and no hope. We dream of peace and love. Far too many among us find neither.

Far too many of us also do what we can to avoid the gen­uine, for the gen­uine bears truth and truth can be most unkind to our afore­men­tioned beliefs regard­ing who we are as com­pared to, well, truth. Many seek diver­sion via what ath­letes refer to as false hus­tle. False hus­tle makes a great show of demon­strat­ing deter­mi­na­tion and grit. In fact, it is empty show­boat­ing, an attempt to win­dow dress affect­ing that which is already deter­mined. An exam­ple of this is a base­ball player fero­ciously chas­ing down a foul pop up that every­one in the ball­park knows will land ten rows back in the seats. Out­side of sports, false hus­tle com­monly man­i­fests itself as pur­port­ing one­self to be pro­vid­ing a great ser­vice by doing a great work when in Realville it is so much bell ring­ing within an echo chamber.

So what to do? The mas­ter of both shim­mer­ing pop and soul stripped bare blues says it best:

Seize the moment now
There’s so lit­tle time before it’s gone
Redemp­tion is at hand
No mat­ter what chem­i­cal you’ve taken on
And if you use another plan
It’s got to be the Genuine

The One Great Gen­uine is Christ, cru­ci­fied and risen. Yet there are other ele­ments of gen­uine. The kind word, the lis­ten­ing ear, the lift­ing up of a fel­low rag­tag sol­dier as each helps carry the other through this world’s mine­fields; these, too, are gen­uine. Such things are often drowned out in a world that mis­takes draw­ing atten­tion as val­i­da­tion. Yet they, not the noise­mak­ers, are genuine.

Seek the genuine.

What does it mean to be genuine?

On the surface, that might seem like a rather odd, and obvious, question. Being genuine means being real. It entails authenticity. It incorporates truthful thoughts and emotions, working together with heart, soul, and spirit to be who we actually are, not who we think we are or wish to be. Or at least it ought to. Simple enough.

That said, being genuine does not always imply positives. If someone is an open-faced jerk, liar, abuser, or what have you, they are to their infinitesimally minute credit at least making no pretense regarding their character, or to be more precise lack thereof. Being genuine is hardly automatic eligibility for receiving time off due to good behavior.

Very few are genuine about what tears at them from within or without. The abuse victim carefully disguises her bruises with makeup and her emotional/mental scars with rationalizations they are somehow just punishment for her sins. The addict hides the bottle or weed or pills or syringe or powder or crystals from all save fellow addicts, to everyone else denying there is any problem while insisting they are complete masters of their preferred poison. The person being chewed up and spit out by the depression monster puts on the happiest of faces as they publicly trip the light fantastic and privately desperately try to not trip over their lying mind’s monotrack insistence there is no relief and no hope. We dream of peace and love. Far too many among us find neither.

Far too many of us also do what we can to avoid the genuine, for the genuine bears truth and truth can be most unkind to our aforementioned beliefs regarding who we are as compared to, well, truth. Many seek diversion via what athletes refer to as false hustle. False hustle makes a great show of demonstrating determination and grit. In fact, it is empty showboating, an attempt to window dress affecting that which is already determined. An example of this is a baseball player ferociously chasing down a foul pop up that everyone in the ballpark knows will land ten rows back in the seats. Outside of sports, false hustle commonly manifests itself as purporting oneself to be providing a great service by doing a great work when in Realville it is so much bell ringing within an echo chamber.

So what to do? The master of both shimmering pop and soul stripped bare blues says it best:

Seize the moment now
There’s so little time before it’s gone
Redemption is at hand
No matter what chemical you’ve taken on
And if you use another plan
It’s got to be the Genuine

The One Great Genuine is Christ, crucified and risen. Yet there are other elements of genuine. The kind word, the listening ear, the lifting up of a fellow ragtag soldier as each helps carry the other through this world’s minefields; these, too, are genuine. Such things are often drowned out in a world that mistakes drawing attention as validation. Yet they, not the noisemakers, are genuine.

Seek the genuine.