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Challenge of Authentic Living

The values, solutions and vision for the future of society offered by many of the traditional social, political and religious sources seem for many people to be dated and lacking in credibility. Humankind needs the highest vision of personality, and needs it clearly and vividly. Without it the foundations of our social structures—personal responsibility and accountability—will be hard to sustain.

The challenge then 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 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.'
The choices presented to you in social life and by public opinion are unsure and not always credible. This forces you to look for answers in the experience and action of your own life as lived, with all its baggage and beauty.

You won't, nor should you, jettison the values imbued from your family and friends, your religious and cultural background (even if you are no longer committed to either), your education and professional formation or your past experience.

Rather than looking to them to establish a value or meaning which speaks authentically to your life today, look instead directly to yourself to create a life that is authentic on the basis of your actions and interactions with others. Such a life will be grounded in awareness and reflection not in social conditioning. It will be committed to being responsible for, and accepting the consequences of your actions. An authentic life is unique to the person who lives it. Your authenticity is your own.

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