Authenticity and Transparency in the Real World

Filed as Features on December 21, 2006 11:51 am

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Authenticity. Transparency.

Authenticity and transparency are the reason I love blogging. They are what connected me. They make me strong, brave, and vulnerable. They are the power of the truth. Nothing can undercut, overwrite, argue down what I say, if I write in my own authentic, transparent voice from the truth I know. I am safe and I am able to add something valuable.

Authenticity. Transparency.

Those two words were what made me painfully shy as a child in the real world, especially at this time of year.

Even when I was as young as three, I would see people open gifts and say “thank you,” without thinking about the words. The words wouldn’t sound right to me. They wouldn’t resonate with the music of gratitude. That confused me.

As a result, I had the hardest time saying “Thank you.” I was sure that people didn’t believe me. Why should they? I didn’t believe them. That was a problem. I couldn’t bear to have my feelings tossed aside. It bothered me that folks I cared about might think my words were empty. Painfully shy really does mean painful.

Authenticity. Transparency.

In a few minutes, I’ll be leaving my computer to meet with my son’s 86-year-old grandmother. She’s an elegant lady, who lives on the Gold Coast of Chicago. She was recently released from the hospital with oxygen and a walker. She’ll be wearing fabulous clothing and have gifts that are wrapped worthy of photos in magazines. We’ll be bringing them to her husband in an assisted care center. He has Alzheimer’s. He won’t remember me.

He is the definition of authenticity and transparency. So is their love.

That one paragraph is the sum of what I will blog about their story. That one paragraph and this one sentence – It breaks my heart.

Authenticity. Transparency.

When you meet with your friends and your family, bring what you’ve learned about authenticity and transparency to the real world.

Liz Strauss also writes for Liz Strauss at Successful-Blog

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  1. Liz Strauss Joins the BlogHerald! at The Blog HeraldDecember 21, 2006 at 11:58 am
  2. By Tony D. Clark posted on December 21, 2006 at 3:36 pm
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    Awesome, Liz and congrats. I have to admit, I had unsubscribed to The Blog Herald based on some of the recent content after the sale and exodus of my favorite contributors. But I’m back, now – that’s how powerful the ME “Liz” Strauss brand is :)

  3. By Liz Strauss posted on December 21, 2006 at 4:32 pm
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    Thank you, Tony. I don’t know about powerful. I know I’m glad to be here and to have you here with me. :)

    There’s a new road and I’m walking down it to see where it goes . . .

  4. By Marti posted on December 21, 2006 at 5:07 pm
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    Congratulations again, Liz. Wonderful article (as are all of yours!) Best wishes to you for a long and successful run at TBH!

  5. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on December 21, 2006 at 5:12 pm
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    Nice to see a familiar face here! And again words of wisdom. Granted, in my own mind I’ve been thinking of these upcoming holidays as a FOODFEST but, yah .. friends and family are intertwined and we should appreciate them all.

  6. By Tony Hung posted on December 21, 2006 at 5:58 pm
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    Mr. Clarke — glad to give you a reason to come back!

  7. By Mike Sansone posted on December 21, 2006 at 7:40 pm
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    Now I know what the “at” in Liz Strauss at Successful Blog stands for. Great story – stay contagious.

  8. By Tony D. Clark posted on December 21, 2006 at 9:09 pm
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    Thanks Tony. I just read over at your place that you’re planning on being around, and that you have two more coming on board. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s a’comin’… :)

  9. By Mark posted on December 21, 2006 at 9:41 pm
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    It is truly harder to receive, than to give. As adults we have to “unlearn” so much and get back to a place where it is okay to feel hurt, as we did as children. Another wonderful moral from your story: that one should never give in order to receive “thanks”. Oh and what will we do when that WW2 generation has gone? I fear we will be without common sense for good.

  10. By Liz Strauss posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:16 pm
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    Aw Mike,
    You are too gracious for words. Thank you for saying that. :)

  11. By Liz Strauss posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:19 pm
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    Tony D. Clark,
    With creative and insightful reader-guys like you around we’re bound to do our best to be doing our best stuff. :)

  12. By Tony Hung posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:20 pm
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    Ah, Mr. Clarke — there’s much more in store.
    Hang on to your hat, its going to be an interesting ride. ;)

  13. By Liz Strauss posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:22 pm
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    Mark,
    Thanks for thinking about what I wrote. It means a lot to me that you listened to what I had to say. I wonder too about the WWII guys going. . . . I wonder about what we should be bringing to the world that we’re not. There’s plenty that we could. We’re a smart and incredible bunch.

  14. By Mark posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:42 pm
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    Well going by the description of your son’s 86 year-old grandmother and my own 83 year-old father, “glamour” (or is it glamor?) is one thing- the true meaning of the word. A second thing would be the personal touch- like the present you describe, or my father always taking the trouble to write a hand-written, eloquent “thank you” letter for a lunch or dinner, no matter if it was only the two of us. How many of us do that? These are small, abstract things- I’m not sure of the bigger picture. I guess it’s the feeling that as “communication” gets easier through technology, there is a price being paid.

  15. By Mark posted on December 22, 2006 at 12:05 am
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    Mind is racing. Stoicism, taking responsibility, political incorrectness, a certain wisdom…I better stop. Beginning to sound like the fuddy duddy that I am.

  16. By Amrit Hallan posted on December 22, 2006 at 12:26 pm
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    Hi Liz.

    Nice to see here and it was warming to read your thoughts on authenticity and transparency. I hope you have a nice trip.

  17. Deep Jive Interests » Filling Large Boots At The BlogHeraldDecember 22, 2006 at 5:35 pm
  18. By Liz Strauss posted on December 25, 2006 at 11:38 pm
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    Mark,
    You’re not a fuddy duddy. You’re a person who understands that communication is more than words being passed. It’s the time it takes and the meaning that is shared as they get expressed. Your father sounds like a man of distinction who respects the people he spends time with.

  19. By Liz Strauss posted on December 25, 2006 at 11:39 pm
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    Hi Amrit,
    Thank you. It heartens me to see you here. I think we need to begin to put ourselves to work on using what we’re learning. :)

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