What’s Better than The New York Times?

A blog maybe? Better yet – an authentic blog.

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Something you’ll hear me say often is, “We live in an era of inauthentic authenticity.” I truly believe this – Everyone knows how to be politically correct, to say the ‘right’ things, to get the ‘right’ attention, or rather saying things that tap into the buzz of the moment. And don’t get me wrong here – it’s good to know your audience, that’s how you stay relevant – but what gets me geared up is when you stay caught up in tapping into the preset notions and negative connotations  of over analyzing ‘trends’ and worldly affairs!

Bit much? Well let’s back up a little so I can tell you why I started writing this blog. I recently stumbled upon Johnny Ward (thanks to AK, that’s how I got the lead) – a travel blogger to say the very least. Johnny left Ireland some years ago to pursue his dream of traveling to every country in the world! And boy is his story a hell of a tale! (You MUST check it out).

Curious to learn more about his life and lifestyle, I’ve been binge reading his content aka blog. Midway through reading his experience in Afghanistan, a thought crossed my mind – How beautiful is this place! So rich, so natural – I sure would want to visit it someday. This thought was immediately followed by a memory not so long ago when in a casual Q/A game with friends, I had said I probably would not go to Afghanistan due to the unstable conditions there when asked which country would I not want to visit.

Johnny delineates his entire journey with so much candor, the friendly locals, the food, the culture, the abundantly natural beauty, and yes the looming threats as well. But that’s the thing – he doesn’t define the country with what seems to be the only factor the rest of the world sees and knows to be. He goes on to conclude by saying he wishes the world knew more of this other side to this beautiful place – this just reinforces the thoughts that have been mulling in my head reading through this post. Why? Why do we only focus on the terrible aspects? Is is because that’s all that reaches us through the media? Why does the media not go beyond that? Is it because that’s what sells?

Fear has always been a sure shot sale.It’s easy to feed into people’s fears. Me saying this is not in any way demeaning what is being portrayed in the media, nor is it belittling the real issues that the country faces. I’m simply stating a point – there is a lot more to the world than what is being told/showed – more people need to tell that story, their story. This is why I greatly appreciate bloggers like Johnny – who do it with a purpose, out of pure passion – that’s when the real stories are shared, and so is the beauty in ordinary life situations – the authentic kind.

As a writer, I’m taking this upon myself to make more of an effort to share real experiences, real stories, real realities. We all need a little change in perspective, and just as I experienced that today reading Johnny’s blog, I hope I’m able to do the same for someone through mine. I hope we can all, through our own authentic efforts, make positivity louder.

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