You don't see or hear of genuine articles much nowadays. In my youth, it was a fairly common expression that meant something or someone was authentic. I don't hear the saying at all connected to things now. I believe that's because people are less concerned with the genuine now and more concerned with fashion and acquisition. It matters not that something is true to its type, or that a person is outstanding because they're eccentric, unusual or passionately devoted to their beliefs and values. Nowadays, it seems to me, that popularity is more important than rarity, it's safer to blend in with the crowd than have the courage of your convictions and that celebrity wins over the genuine article every time.
Shane and Sarndra came up for my birthday recently. Shane is pictured here reading John Seymour's self sufficiency book while waiting for his mum to load the table with food. Sarndra and Hanno were outside talking to the chooks. : - )
I really love it when I come across a name that everyone seems to know but I've never hear before. Hanno and I were watching the morning news on TV yesterday when the presenters were droning on about someone called Kim Cardasian. Apparently Kim has millions of Twitter followers and is famous far and wide. When I come across something like this, I smile and feel like I'm doing something right. That somehow, even though millions know this person, this famous name has been filtered out of my simple world. I have no clue who she is, where she lives, what she looks like. That, to me, is success - I've filtered out a small shard of popular culture - gee it feels good.! I didn't get caught up in the hype or seduced by a need to know. Even now, I decided not to Google her name to check my spelling. The less I know about Ms Cardasian, the better.
So what of the genuine article? Why do I hold high such a concept? It's because it's easy to go along with the crowd and much more difficult to walk your own path. In many different ways we are all walking the path less travelled. We see what is considered "normal" now, we know that consumption is the new way and we have decided to reject it. Instead of buying all that is new and shiny, in the latest fashion colours, we are standing our ground and going back to basics. It's comfortable back there. It's warm traditional oats soaked overnight and cooked slowly rather than cornflakes or all the new designer breakfast cereals; it's home baked bread instead of sliced white in plastic wrap; it's "come over and I'll teach you how to knit" instead of "let's go shopping". Instead of buying fast food, we have it slow and easy bubbling away in the oven when the family comes home in the evening. Even the smell of that home cooked food in the air when they walk through the door tells your family that someone loves them enough to make it all happen. It's sitting around the table with the entire family, talking about today, and tomorrow, and this and that. It's really knowing your family instead of just knowing what they tell you.
After the spaghetti and meatballs I served this lemon tart.
There are so many things that can be fake now - fingernails, breasts, flawless skin, "home cooking" that is bought over a counter or in a packet, "limited editions" that sell thousands and sometimes millions. So when you see the genuine article, be that in a person, a way of life, or the ideals they engender, it stands out like a shining beacon. There has probably never been a better, nor more difficult time, to stand up for the authentic, but doing that, going against the tide of popular opinion, and seeing others doing it too, will help you reject the flim flammery of the popular and hold close the values and beliefs that will help you lead a simpler and genuine life.