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Genuine Integrity: I want to be real

July 22, 2008

Substance; Authenticity; Transparency; Relevancy; Genuine.

These are words that are often used to describe well-liked people.

Down-to-earth; Salt-of-the-earth; The real deal!

For some reason, it seems, the older someone gets, the more their true character is evident.  Sometimes I look at celebrities and I’m amazed at how much ooomph is behind their personality.  This has often been a curious feature to me.  Whether gentle, arrogant, ignorant, funny, or just there – certain celebrities seem to have a genuineness with a boost.  It is a confidence that turbocharges an everyday personality trait and  makes them famous.

Gary Vanderchuk is truly one of these people.  An everyday guy, living an everyman’s dream.  He puts himself out there for the world to see.  He is genuine, authentic, and quite often overly outspoken about the simplest of subjects.  However, it isn’t the subject matter that draws people to him – it is his willingness to say what’s on his heart; often without a filter.

Last night he posted one of his typical online VBlogs, and people were raving about it.  I went and watched, to see what he said, but I found nothing in the content.  What I saw instead was a guy being real.  The cameras were taping/broadcasting before the show was due to start, and he was just being himself.  That is what people find so cool!

One commenter, if not many, talked about him being purely genuine.

When I heard him speak at a Legion of Talk event a few weeks ago, I saw that genuiness for myself – especially in the casual banter on the sidewalk afterwards.

Now, I’ve had nearly 12-13 minutes of fame and I’m not eager to round it out to 15, but I do have to admit that there is a certain affirmation when you know people are listening.  Now I’ve been blogging since about the turn of the century, but without much readership.  Mostly, it was an opportunity for me to capture my thoughts, but no one was reading them.


When I first started this blog, I had no focus and no purpose.  I just wanted to hone my writing skills and express some rants, raves, and observations.  However, about a month ago, I had a vision of what this blog could become.  Since then, I’ve been excited about what I’ve been writing, and it appears that people have caught the vision.  My readership has nearly trippled.  And that is affirming.

For several years, I’ve been watching what is now called the “fatherless generation.”  I see people who are not skilled or prepared to parent, but having lots of random children.  I see people who would make great parents, take a cautious approach to adding more children to an increasingly overpopulated planet and corrupt culture.  Some children in this culture are resilient, and others suffer through abuse, neglect, and abandonment with varying degrees of dysfunction.  It has disturbed me for some time.

After dealing with some issues between my father and me, I have realized what kind of Dad I want to be.  Though I don’t have it all figured out, and I have great tendencies towards hypocrisy, arrogance, and timidity, I still see a great need for the voices of the brave who put fatherhood above all other quests.

I strive to be genuine; I strive to be authentic; and I strive to be transparent and real.  If my family chooses to be vegetarian (and they have), I don’t want to sneak around eating dead cows and chickens behind their backs.  On the other hand, I don’t want to steer my children towards an unhealthy lifestyle.

(NOTE: I happen to believe that the vegetarian diet is the best choice.  I just choose to enable my hedonistic approach to eating sometimes. I believe that a vegetarian diet will enhance and help to prolong my life.  However, my tastebuds have not relinquished control of my appetite yet.  I’m going to have to have a heart-to-heart with them soon.)

The older I get, the more genuine and authentic I become.  Now, as I approach my 50th birthday, I get concerned that this will lead me to become one of two people: 1) a crochety old man; or, 2) a sweet old guy with “interesting” ideas.  Maybe there’s a third option, we’ll see.

Many of the older gentleman I treated, while I was a paramedic, had this picture on their walls.  I too strive to be a man of peace when Im old and gray.

Either way, I want to live an integrated life.  I want my thoughts, my beliefs, my actions, and my words to be coordinated in harmony with one another.  This is called integrity.

I want to be genuine.

I want to have itegrity.

I want to be authentic.

I want to be transparent.

and….I want to be real.

  1. ragingdad permalink
    July 22, 2008 8:34 pm

    Nice post, Gary. I think being validated in any number of ways is natural. I can’t deny that I nearly jumped out of my chair when I had 90 hits in one day on my little blog. I definitely feel you on the search for relevancy, for purpose. I think that finding a forum for sharing interesting ideas and starting conversations is great, and hopefully will help me find that thing you called “genuine.”


  2. July 23, 2008 8:22 pm

    I haven’t met you in person (yet – soon I hope), but I am starting to think you might just be a pretty amazing person. One thing’s for sure, you at least have a lucky family. Good stuff, Gary. A purpose is a nice thing to have. 🙂


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