Brene Brown “Why, when we know that there’s no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No—the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.”
A youth posed this situation to me. “What if you found a bundle of money and there was no identification. Would you keep it?”
I hesitated. He jumped on it. “I knew you would keep it. Ha!”
I still hesitated. The other youth in the car told him “shut up and let her think.”
This became the first in a long series of talks on making decisions.
“It’s not so much about honesty,” I say. “It’s about integrity. We don’t make decisions based on whether or not we will be caught. At some time in our lives, we discover that to be authentic we hold fast to those things that make us honorable. And we have to choose what that is. It is not handed to us.”
Several years later, the youth in the car talks about this to some younger kids. “Teachers talk a lot about making good choices. That is not possible until you first choose to be authentic. That means not taking or giving s**t. It means you don’t posture or talk big. It means you make a decision that you are going to be genuine and dependable. If you get a girl pregnant you take responsibility for the money needed. If you mess us, you own up to it and stop making excuses. When you decide what it means to be authentic, then you can start making good choices.”
I look around the group and see the kids hanging on to every word. What a blessing.
This is a life skill. It requires some thought. But more than that—it requires hard core decision.