GET REAL: Let’s get close to reality
LET’S KEEP THIS REAL. There is not a lot of “keeping it real” going on.
Our culture of silence, keeping up appearances, commercial interests and the law work against it.
Realness will be kept to the extent that it does not jeopardise the bottom line or incur jail time.
And even if a corporate entity like a newspaper is willing to risk the bottom line and print the realness, it may find it hard to find someone who will put their bottom on the line.
A lot of people are loud in a crowd, but bow when it is time to stand out.
We might ‘if’ at the realness every now and again, but most often when asked to keep it real, the response is, “Not now. Next time.”
That, of course, depends on your concept of keeping it real. For most people keeping it real means keeping the bills paid, their bellies full and their heads low.
So by not keeping it real they consider they are keeping it real. For them keeping up a façade is a function of keeping it real.
The façade is a protective force. For them to pretend is the realist act they can perform. So they act. They have not been themselves in public since a few years after they were born.
From very early we are taught to lie: “Don’t say that. That’s not polite.”
We often punish children for telling the truth. Because the truth is, the world of adults is a world of lies.
Maybe that is why a man cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven except as a little child. Is it possible that keeping it real is the key to heaven? If so most of us are already in hell. A quiet, lonely, slow burning hell.
Even Christians are afraid of death. There is so much unsaid, so much undone, so much unfinished business, just a little more time, please.
You know within yourself you will leave behind a trail of lies and you wish you could correct it, or at least brush them out.
You have been trying to brush them out for long, long, long. You can’t. You can only sweep them into the dark corners of your being.
Eventually they build up in your liver, chest and kidneys, heart, pancreas, prostate and lungs, and they kill you.
You envy people who you consider to be keeping it real. You admire their courage. At least for as long as they face no consequences.
If keeping it real causes problems for the realness keeper, then you turn on them. Who was considered brave before is now being called a fool. “Dah eediot really feel he coulduh get way, doh?” You feel vindicated in your façade and now have proof that you made the right choice.
Keeping it real can mean keeping quiet at times, but the self-censorship in Barbados is on another level.
That is only one side of it. That is the Yin of the issue of realness. There is a Yang.
There are those who consider themselves to be really keeping it real because the distance between their heart and their mouth is minor and they live from their livers.
In Chinese philosophy, anger builds up in the heart, fed by bitterness which builds up in the liver. These people are quick to speak their disgust from the heart.
The bitterness they have stored up over years overflows, and spills off their tongues. They equate their loudness and outspokenness for keeping it real.
Look and listen carefully and you will realise that the world is filled with as much beauty as ugliness.
How much you see depends as much on the condition of your eye as it does what is actually there to be seen.
Those who continually speak of foul wind usually have bad gas. Many who think they are keeping it real are really keeping it stale.
A lack of self-control and social and emotional intelligence rather that realness maybe the reason for their openness. Openness and honest self-expression are good, but for my one part, real realness requires more than that.
To qualify as a realist one must have a greater level of maturity. Realness requires not only bravery but sensitivity. It requires honesty balanced with temperance.
It can be hard to tell the difference between someone who keeps it real and someone with verbal flatulence. Fortunately, it is not necessary.
My task is to keep it real: With myself and others. That is enough of a job. I have little time or energy to search anyone’s mouth for false speech.
I am busy making sure that my opinion is more than just how I feel in the moment, that it is not based on only my personal experience, that I consider the feelings and experiences of others, that I have supporting evidence, and that I am open to new information.
I am also aware that even with all those boxes checked, ultimate reality will elude me. As much as we like to believe in our own powers of perception, they are severely limited. We do not perceive the world as it actually is.
Our sense organs detect information from the outside world, which it converts to electrical impulses, which our nervous system and brain recreate for us as an image or simulation of what is. We don’t see with our eyes we see with our brains.
If even the physical world we perceive is an elaborate hologram, what should we expect of the world of opinions and ideas?
But ideas, opinions and concepts are to humans as honey is to bees. It is what we produce and consume.
All we can do is try to produce and consume the purest quality and get as close to reality as possible.
I tend to oscillate between belligerent loud mouth and reserved house mouse. I am seeking a point of equilibrium somewhere in the middle.
Adrian Green is a creative communications specialist. Email: [email protected]