What is Real?

My son, Antonio, is finishing up his freshman year at Boston College, albeit through virtual, eLearning. We were having breakfast this morning and he was telling me about the prompt for his final essay question in his class, Perspectives on Western Culture, which discusses, compares and contrasts the intersection between philosophy and religion. It’s a bit ironic that I took the same class my freshman year at BC. Of course, it is probably much more intricate now and he will perform far better than I, so many years ago.

The prompt for his essay prompted me to write this post. We are living in such a surreal time, with misinformation and agenda-driven leadership, that the question “What is Real?” is not only provocative, but also, quite possibly, unanswerable. How are we to know what is real in this day and age? Who can you possibly trust? Everyone is lying to you on one level or another. The media, whose primary job is to report, is skewing information according to what they believe will bring them higher ratings and not on straight facts. Every leader, official and expert is playing the CYA game. So, what is real?

My assessment is that nothing is real. Everything presented to you is just a version of real, a version of the truth. The funny thing is that, although it seems to have changed due to this current climate, nothing has actually changed, it is just magnified and more exposed. If you go back in time and read historical accounts, it pretty much has always been this contrived. It has always been an illusion. A twisted version of the truth, based on individual preference. That exercise, Telephone, where a group of people sit in a circle and the first person tells the person sitting next to them a story, and that person relays the story, and so on, until it gets back to the originator, comes to mind. The story is almost always never the same.

So, if nothing is real, then it is up to each of us, individually, to be the captain of our own reality. It is up to each of us, individually, to keep it real. The time you spend doing what is important to you is what is real to you. The crisis at hand is truly an opportunity for your reality to come to life. Remember when you said, “If I had the time, I would do this…” Well, you have the time now. And while there are absolutely some restrictions in certain areas, there has to be things you have wanted to do that are still in reach. So, if you’re not taking advantage of the time to do them, what is stopping you?

If people have been telling you that you can’t do something all your life, is that real? Now, suspecting that it comes from their individual perspective and not reality, should you believe them? If others have held you back, should you trust them? I don’t want to be a “question everything” theorist, but maybe we should question anyone who has put doubt in our minds about ourselves. If you believe in you, you can make it come true, just Go Do.

Do you want to read more? Write more? Exercise? Spend more time with your family? Paint? Draw? Sculpt? Think? Walk? Take photographs? Invent? Create? Speak? Lead? There are all of these desires that you have always wanted to achieve but time, other commitments, and doubt of others have been your excuse. Is there a valid excuse now? No. It is the time to Go Do. Pick that thing you have been yearning to accomplish and make it your reality. You are in control of your reality, and that is the only thing that is real. #GoDo

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