In 1980, Howard Thurman spoke these words at a Baccalaureate Service. in it he speaks of the essentiality of authenticity. Listen to the sound of the genuine in you!

The Sound Of The Genuine In You
By Howard Thurman

There is something in every one of you that waits, listens for the genuine in yourself—and if you can not hear it, you will never find whatever it is for which you are searching and if you hear it and then do not follow it, it was better that you had never been born. You are the only you that has ever lived; your idiom is the only idiom of its kind in all the existences, and if you cannot hear the sound of the genuine in you, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.

There is in you something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself and sometimes there is so much traffic going on in your minds, so many different kinds of signals, so many vast impulses floating through your organism that go back thousands of generations long before you were even a thought in the mind of creation and you are buffeted by these and in the midst of all of this you have got to find out what your name is. Who are you? How does the sound of the genuine come through to you. . . . The sound of the genuine is flowing through you. Don’t be deceived and thrown off by all the noises that are a part even of your dreams [and] your ambitions that you don’t hear the sound of the genuine in you. Because that is the only true guide that you will ever have and if you don’t have that you don’t have a thing. You may be famous. You may be whatever the other ideals are which are a part of this generation, but you know you don’t have the foggiest notion of who you are, where you are going, what you want. Cultivate the discipline of listening to the sound of the genuine in yourself!

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