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The challenge for each of us is to embark on a personal journey of establishing what it means for us to live an authentic life. We must be responsible for our own life rather than responsive to what others say our life should be. Rather than lament the passing of stern leadership and the imposition of ethical standards from on high we can see this era as the next stage in the maturation of humanity. We are no longer children or adolescents but have come into adulthood and must now shape our world with the tools of reason and intuition, science and tradition.

This requires clarifying and testing our personal values in the fire of our lived experience; coming to terms with our personal power and defining what it means to achieve success and wellbeing in life. We are called to face the challenge of simultaneously living our life and exercising our freedom and power in accordance with those values.

We have become accustomed to taking our values and ideals much like our breakfast cereal—out of a box. The box is that of culture and tradition, family and tribe and nowadays the social conditioning peddled by a voracious media under the guise of ‘public opinion.’ The surrender of so many leaders to the alleged primacy of public opinion has been a central feature in the collapse of credible leadership at all levels in society. To be authentic is to have a belief, a position, a view and then to stand-up for that view until convinced by others that it is misguided or there is a better alternative.

The challenge for a free and authentic person is to create your own vision or ideal of what a modern, valuable and authentic society might be, and be willing to stand-up for it. And in the process, not to be unduly swayed by what the media present to you as ‘truth.

 

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