Lately we have been consistently informed that organic is good for us, from food to products. They are wholesome and closest to their natural state, therefore better for us and the environment. But does this apply to our thoughts and actions as well? Is what we say and do, coming from an authentic, natural state within, better for us in the long run? Is honesty always the best policy?

As children we are frequently told to mind our manners; say please and thank you, sit up straight, respect our elders and don’t chew with our mouths open. These social skills stay with us as we get older. We bring them into adulthood and pass it on to our children. We view it as the acceptable way to engage in the world. However, we know that most children do not enjoy doing these things, as we didn’t when we were kids. When young we think and act as we please, every movement and word is natural and oftentimes spontaneous; we don’t have the life experience yet and so are unaware of the unwritten rules of the world. In many ways, we act from an organic state; our actions are raw and uninhibited.

As adults we know that a lot of the time we have to do things we don’t want to do; like pay our bills, go to work, study, sit exams, socialise with people we don’t have anything in common with, the list is long. We are inundated with a different set of responsibilities and obligations as we get older. We have people reliant on us and acting from a place of authenticity is not always practical or possible; for if it was, then most of us would rather stay curled up in bed than sit in peak hour traffic.

But does this apply to everything in life? If our initial thought is one of obligation then where will that lead us?

For example, giving should be a natural state and come from within. Giving because it is expected or prompted comes tainted with obligation. No one enjoys receiving assistance when the giver complains about it, dreads it or it comes cloaked in pity. Negativity is attached to the thought and action and it loses all meaning. There’s little or no joy in the task and it becomes exhausting. A person gives because they want to, not because they feel they have to.

Everyone wants to be with people who are sincere and genuine. Honesty, even when delivered in the harsh light of reality, is preferable. We would rather know the truth than have it expertly disguised. It seems we all have inbuilt radars that pick up on insincerity.

The question begs how do we remain true to ourselves, act authentically and refrain from hurting others and causing unnecessary disruption?

Perhaps it helps if we trust ourselves enough and use our common sense to gauge each situation we find ourselves in.

Most of us know when it is appropriate to say something and when it is not. Staying mindful and respecting others will also help. Oftentimes, there’s wisdom in keeping your thoughts to yourself, especially if it will cause unnecessary heartache. Is it really worth it, in the end?

Authenticity is always best, but there is also a great lesson to be learnt from exercising restraint and self control. Keeping the balance between the two can be tricky but beneficial for everyone.