Being Genuine

Harry’s daughter had just received a very bad review for her musical performance.  Harry’s response included, in part, the following:  “Someday, I hope to meet you.  When that happens, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beef steak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below.”  It’s a genuine response from an outraged father, but when the father is the President of the United States, it was widely criticized by his political enemies.  But the public loved it.

He wasn’t a Harold.  He was a Harry, and Americans could relate to him.  He made many tough decisions, including the use of the atomic bomb to end World War II, the integration of the military, and the creation of a plan to restore economic vitality to Europe after the war.  He was looked upon by many as not having the stature to be President (including his mother-in-law).  He enjoyed playing poker and drinking bourbon with his buddies.  But for all his criticism, everyone would acknowledge that he was a genuine person, unchanged by the Presidency.  Today, he is generally ranked in the top 10 of U.S. Presidents and given a near-great status.

Genuine people are comfortable in their own skins.  They don’t make pretenses or put on airs.  They take advice from others, but they have a sense of what is right, and this is more important to them than the advice of others. When they are wrong, they will admit their failures.

Just as genuine people are comfortable in their own views, they are also respectful of the views of others.  In fact, they reach out to the thoughts of those who tend to be ignored.

Genuine people can be bold when they see wrongs being committed against others.  They are not afraid to take unpopular actions when they believe their actions are just.  They are more concerned about doing the right thing than being popular.

They don’t seek attention for themselves, but are not afraid of being in the spotlight to bring a cause into view of others.  They may not be the most articulate in expressing their views, but others can see that they speak from the heart.

Genuine persons tend to live simple lives and enjoy simple pleasures.  They don’t need a lot of the trappings of society.  They are also very astute at sensing when others are faking genuineness, but are in reality self-serving.

Being genuine involves asking yourself:  Would you rather be or would you rather have?

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Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.

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