On authenticity and happiness

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I keep getting drawn to this image… there’s just something about the quiet wholeness to it. The genuine smile on his face, the simplicity of his surroundings. In the one breath he makes me joyful inside, but jealous too. Jealous of his emersion in nature, of his lifestyle free of materialistic possessions, and of his ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.

It’s difficult in today’s world to live a simple life, and I say that with gratitude for how lucky I am to have been raised in a safe, socially and economically sound environment. What I’m referring to though is the money-hungry, image-obsessed culture we are apart of, where life is a constant blur of advertisements, debts, shopping centres and selfies. This complete saturation makes it hard to live an authentic life – with a few clicks we can manipulate everything about ourselves and how others view us. We spend so long controlling everything that we can’t truly live in a moment or appreciate the simple things.

While I understand how useful technology is in various fields, I can’t help but feel that with it comes a detriment to our relationships and self-worth. We keep up with our friends online while losing that genuine connection and human interaction, we can easily cancel plans without being held accountable, and we can end relationships with a short message and no regret. Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. It just doesn’t feel right and humans were not built for such virtual existences. Even the realms of communities and villages have been destroyed, with most people having no idea what their neighbours names are. Forget borrowing milk from them, we can just get an Uber to deliver it to our door.

Of course, I appreciate how technology has greatly extended the fields of medicine and science, I just wish it didn’t come with all the other crap! (Excuse my language). I suppose the only thing we can do is focus on the things that matter – friends and loved ones, creative pursuits, health and wellbeing, and community service. To me these are the key elements to living an authentic and happy life, something that I am striving towards every day.

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Photo credit – fursty

One thought on “On authenticity and happiness

  1. now for the next step– you can put a smile like that on someones face who isnt even expecting it.

    it takes people years to learn how to be their true selves. you can skip all that by inviting someone to really be them (extending such an invitation is an art, and can be cultivated with practice) and then watching all the strain the put into their daily masks and poses melt away.

    you can listen, appreciate, and give someone to be their true self in a way that most people cant, or wont.

    its one of the greatest gifts you can receive in life, and you can do it for yourself. but you can make someones day or even year if you learn how to share that opportunity with others– its not a trick, it just takes practice and real sincerity.

    Liked by 2 people

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