Opinions

Legend’s View

Authenticity in a sea of conformity

Cartoon
Illustration by Sebastian Miguel

What does it mean to be authentic? The word represents originality and uniqueness.
Today, the term is used more for indentifying the difference between real or imitation handbags then it is to people.
Historically, the human race has embraced and broken free from the confines of conformity many times.

A deep longing for individuality and personal expression remains a central theme, one that ultimately birthed democracy.
Despite this freedom, children today are encouraged to fit in and avoid rocking the boat. Being too different leaves them vulnerable to exclusion and bullying. Advertisements and the media are incessant bullies in their own right, pressuring the public into complacent consumerism.

Humanity seems deeply conflicted between the pressure to conform and an innate desire for authenticity. Society admires pioneers in scientific discovery, but at the same timey devour tabloid stories of popular trends. The public widely accepts standardized testing for their children. Yet they applaud artists that express themselves in inventive ways. This tension between craving acceptance and simply being genuine leaves many feeling lost at sea.

Even as these young adults become spouses and parents, the need for confirmation continues to plague their choices and habits.
Humanity has created two faces for itself: the one shown in public and the one set free only behind closed doors.
Being authentic however requires vulnerability, and people often fear this kind of honesty
If people looked inward instead of outward to determine what makes them alive with passion, perhaps they would experience a greater level of peace and self-love. The lifeboat people seek is simply the freedom to define what being real means on their own terms.

About Author

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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