On Being Real

She and her family heard him preach one Sunday morning. He was their new preacher and this was his second message to the church.real.jpg

A few days later, she was on the telephone when her friend asked:

“How do you like your new minister?”

The woman replied, “I have heard him preach twice and I am impressed with how real he is.”

To acknowledge someone as being “real” is to pay that person a very high compliment.

So what does it mean to be real?

(I would love to hear your own additions to this list. Please leave as a comment below.)

1. Being real is not about trying to project an image. It is being you.

2. Being real is to be transparent. No deception here.

3. Being real is to deal with life as it is and to acknowledge that it is sometimes very difficult.

4. Being real is to be authentic and not a pretender.

5. Being real is to turn from duplicity and toward integrity. For example, people who are real do not talk badly about another person in that person’s absence and then talk glowingly about him when he is present.

6. Being real is to be honest. You can count on what this person says. He will not lie in order to make life more convenient. (“Just tell your boss that you can’t come in and you aren’t feeling well. That way, maybe we can leave for our trip earlier.”)

7. Being real is to own up to your mistakes and your failures rather than to rationalize or justify.

8. Being real is to speak truth instead of speaking what you think another person might prefer to hear.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “On Being Real

  1. Jim,
    Contrast the observation the lady made about the new minister with public perception of Tiger Woods right now. There have been several artictles this week regarding his “PR Failure.”

  2. Being real is to be free from the “social compulsions” (borrowing Merton’s terminology) to perform, achieve, accumulate, fit in, and impress in order to be liked or prove my importance or merit affirmation. To do otherwise is to live from the so-called “false self”. Needless to say, I often find it hard to be real!

    • Lance, great comment. I like your list of “social compulsions.” Your list adds great clarity to this concern and helps us see what it is to live out of the “false self.”

  3. Being real may most often be seen at the extremes of life – childhood, then late adulthood. We tend to get all muddled up in the middle with accumulating and “doing.”

  4. I told a friend recently how much I apreciated he and his wife because they were so real. I felt compelled to give them that compliment because they are so intuned to where they have been, where they are and where they want to go and they don’t care if you know. Real! I’m working on being as real as they are…loooong way to go!