Authenticity. It might as well be an ancient myth.
We’ve exchanged empathy for superficiality and unflinching transparency for plastic masks hiding our deepest fears, hopes, and aspirations. Human relationships have never been so bereft of meaning.
Superficiality. It’s weakness. It allows us to hide our imperfections from others, never to be challenged, never to change, never to grow.
Society’s aversion to the truth has seeped into our relationships. We are afraid to face one another with pure candor, so we play the depthless game of intermittent small talk and call it friendship.
What did we expect? We’re flawed beings. The resulting alienation is inevitable. But not unbeatable.
A cynical thought pervades: “If superficiality permeates all relationships, what’s the point of pursuing the myth of authenticity with another person?”
It’s tempting to want to escape to an uninhabited utopia to dwell in blissful solitude, but:
- We are not called to be alone. Our purpose is fulfilled in pursuing significance outside ourselves, which prompts whole and unequivocal investment in others, expecting nothing in return.
- We must empathize with the triumphs and failures of others, serve them, and daily choose to die to self.
- We must care. Deeply care about another person’s interests, hopes for the future, and fears. Deeply care, and they will blossom.
Investment in others can be risky, exhausting, and even heartbreaking. But if you truly take the time to unearth the multi-faceted complexities of another soul – willing to approach them with relentless honesty and Christlike love – it is vastly worth it.