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Thursday, 28 December 2017

THINK ABOUT IT #33: Abe Osheroff


Authenticity is incredibly important.  To me, authenticity comes when your thoughts, your words, and your deeds have some relation to each other.  It comes when there’s a real organic relationship between the way you think, the way you talk, and the way you act.  You have to fight for authenticity all the time in this world, and if you don’t fight for it you will get derailed… 
  Some people are afraid to think, because thinking can present problems.  When you have thoughts, you have to decide what to do with them.  We can save them and take them to a therapist, or we can go to a bar and drink them away, or we can talk about them.  But immediately we have to deal with self-censorship.  Talking honestly can have consequences.  Take an easy example.  If you’re involved in a relationship and there’s something bothering you about the relationship, and you tell the other person your thoughts, that may be the end of the relationship.  You’re in a funny bind because if you talk about it you may risk the relationship, but if you don’t talk about it you know that down the road the same problem will be there.  What do you do?  Authenticity is about making that decision.
  Then once you’ve said something, the question is, ‘What are you going to do about it?’  A lot of people don’t do anything.  Trying to be authentic is another way of saying you are struggling to let out the best part of who you are, the part that will act and take risks.  We all have a choice:  we can choose to be made by history, or we can choose to participate in making history.

Abe Osheroff: On The Joys and Risks of Living Authentically in the Empire (Robert Jensen, 2005)


Click HERE to read the full interview with US dissident and social activist ABE OSHEROFF conducted by academic ROBERT JENSEN in June 2005.

You might also enjoy:
THINK ABOUT IT #22: Christopher Lasch
THINK ABOUT IT #19: John Pilger 
THINK ABOUT IT #15: Noam Chomsky

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