Be Authentic But With Class

Recently a top news anchorman for a major American network was outed for committing a blatant lie on national TV and then for repeating the lie. At the 2015 Grammy Awards, Madonna was wearing an outfit exposing her butt. A couple of years ago a US congressman took a ‘selfie’ of his private parts, then texted it to some women and repeatedly lied about it.


What happened to us? Call me old-fashioned but today, class and respect has been replaced by crude self-indulgence and narcissism. Today, being authentic means expressing yourself in any way, “letting it all hang out” and not holding back. Swearing excessively, exhibiting other rude behavior and showing no respect for institutions or authority figures is commonplace in today’s society. In the world that I grew up in, there was a sense of respect and decorum. Of course, people got up to nasty things but they weren’t put up in full view for the world to see. As a society, we were less narcissistic in that era.

Politicians are notorious for deceiving us today and with the media focused on them 24/7, they often embarrass themselves in words or deeds. No wonder they are among the least respected of the professions. Even science is not sacred when it comes to authenticity. A number of scientists routinely fudge data to create the outcome that they want and work hand-in-hand with governments to promote a certain narrative.

Cary Grant - Epitomy of class
Cary Grant – Epitomy of class

We can’t do much about what others do, but we can live our lives with authenticity. We can be genuine and honest, and true to ourselves. Both In business and in our personal lives, it is important to show our authentic side. Our generation may be called “Square.” However, we should not succumb to the lowest common denominator. If you want to wear a jacket and tie to dinner, go ahead. If you feel the need to swear, don’t do it in public. Just because some find it acceptable doesn’t mean that we have to lower ourselves to that level. Don’t tattoo your body because all your friends are doing it. After all, it can’t be healthy.

Some say we can’t go back to the past. That may be true, but we can live in the present and maintain the honesty and class of the past. Integrity means not settling for less whether for yourself or others and “saying what you do and doing what you say”. This will enhance your life and that of others whether on a personal level or in business.

Listen To Your Gut

Today more than ever we need to pay attention to warning signals that bombard us from the environment. We can detect all sorts of danger signals, some obvious, others less so. Ignoring the signals can put us in danger. Listening to our gut feelings is a mechanism that can alert us to the fact that something untoward is taking place. It is part of our fight or flight mechanism.

In his book, The Gift Of Fear, Gavin De Becker talks about the survival signals that we all have. Animals have this instinct honed to a great degree, but we humans with our educated minds will often override this natural gift. The age, which we live in has opened us up to many areas of potential danger. As we age, we become more susceptible.

Awareness While Walking

We know of the dangers in the city where we live; we wouldn’t walk around at night in an area that is notorious for high crime. When we travel this also needs to be a consideration. We travel to enjoy travel but we need to be aware of our surroundings. There is power in numbers, so avoid walking alone in some of the larger cities. South America, Asia, and even some European countries are notorious for theft. We have known a number of senior women who have had their handbags stolen. In one case, a thief was after a necklace around the woman’s neck. He pulled at it causing the woman to fall and injure her shoulder.

If you see someone looking a bit suspicious, go to the other side of the road or go into a restaurant or other public building. Avoid making eye contact. Also in some cities it is prudent not to look too much like a tourist. Thieves can pick out tourists and they “see” dollar signs.

Real and Virtual Scams

If someone comes up to you purporting to do a survey, or wanting to do you a favor, take a photo, etc., be very careful. Scam artists often use these tactics. If you do a significant amount of traveling as we do, you will eventually run into scammers. Even if you take a tour, the guides will warn you about the potential of scam artists.

Warning of Scam AlertWe keep hearing of horror stories where seniors get taken in either by someone coming to their door or by fraudulent emails on the internet, and the result is the loss of thousands of dollars. Banks or other legitimate sites will not send an email requesting that you provide or update your password. Not a week goes by when we don’t receive an email purported to be from our internet server or from one of the social media sites claiming that we need to upgrade our details or password. Delete these emails or if you are not sure, contact the server or website directly to determine whether or not it is legitimate.

Then there are the random emails that tell you how you can make an extra $8,000 a month. All that you need to do is sign up, and you’ll be on your way to earning riches––if only it were so simple. If you come across something that seems enticing, do the internet check. Type in the name of the type of offering with “scam” or “con” after it and you will often find sites that have reviewed the product. Many times they are total rip-offs. There are blogs out there that write about scams on the internet.

There are good things out there on the internet that can help us develop certain skills. However, a legitimate business will not ask you for bank details, passwords, etc. Many will ask you for your email if they are going to provide you with either a free or paid product––one that is legitimate. So take the time to develop the awareness of listening more to your gut than your head. It will save you in the long run.


The Key To Fulfillment

We only have one chance at this life. Do we live a fulfilled one or do we squander it? I once asked some people, “Do you like mountain climbing? Are you adventurous enough to want to climb Everest?” You need to be passionate about mountain climbing to do that. Believe it or not, the oldest person to reach the summit of Everest was a Japanese climber who achieved the feat in his mid-70s.

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