I am starting this year by finding what values I respect the most and what I don’t. I discovered that I don’t have to agree with anyone nor that they should agree with me. Instead what I love about a person is that they hide themselves by concealing something about themselves or conversely by highlighting something else. I have been disappointed by someone who not only hid the fact that they are Jewish (why would anyone do that?!) but also that they show how perfect they are- posting photos of their first class flight tickets, giving details of their home improvements and that their daughter is doing so well at school or ballet lessons in their New Year round robin letters, etc. all the time hiding that the couple’s marriage is non existent and that their son does not like his parents. I wouldn’t dislike this man if he told me about his problems or disrespect him. But such is the world of today that we present our perfect selves to one and all- nothing less than perfection will do.
However, trying to be perfect is so hard. One has to tell lies, hide facts and keep up the pretence. It is much more simpler to be authentic- no lies, no concealing, and no stress. Being authentic is not hard, being unauthentic is. However, being authentic takes courage because you have to show your weakness and vulnerabilities. But I’d rather be with a courageous person than with someone who does not trust me to appreciate their weakness and failures. This is a complex paradox but worth thinking about- who do you want to be with and who do you want to be?