That's my question of the day. I heard a renown educator pose it to an audience, and it hit me: what speaks to my most authentic self? For a moment, I thought I'd have a ready answer. Because, gosh, I know me so well, right?
Wrong. There was/is/has been (note change to present continuous tense) prolonged contemplation. Then here I am, blogging about it, and still not in any definitive way. What speaks to MY most authentic self? WHAT speaks to my most authentic self? What speaks to my most AUTHENTIC self? It is, I admit, a worthy question.
What I love about this question is how it is personalised. It's not asking about YOUR most authentic self (no offence to you, I assure you I value and highly esteem your self and its authenticity). It's asking about ME and MY authenticity. It's talking about ME from MY paradigm, MY perspective, MY point of view. I think many people have become so absorbed in (and by) their environments that they have forgotten the existence of their authentic selves, and the need to nurture them. We can get so caught up in being politically correct that we begin to create - and nurture - a self that engenders what everyone around us wants us to be, but that betrays the very essence of those elements that speak most to who we really are or want to be.
It's like kids growing into adults and forgetting the importance of having and pursuing dreams with firm belief in their possibility. The kid had the big heart, but not the knowledge. The adult has no heart, lotsa *negative* knowledge. And, for some reason, society affirms the adult, rehabilitates the kid, but never considers a way to consolidate both points of view.
I love this question because it asks us to go back to basics and rediscover genuineness and authenticity. It asks us to do more than just get by under the shroud of conformity. It forces us to face up to what is different and real about each of us - and to own it. I hope you take the time to answer the question.