The sign said, “Genuine Auto Parts.” I had to think about that for a minute. Did someone at one time try to substitute fake or maybe Tinker Toy auto parts for real auto parts making it necessary to validate these were real?

I suppose we do live in an era of knockoffs, substitutes and fakes, so verifying something is real becomes almost mandatory. And, it’s everywhere; artificial sweeteners, fake IDs, man made diamonds, knock off designer purses, enhanced body parts, and in Branson a flock of Elvis impersonators.

Sometimes the substitute is so clever and deceiving no one would ever know the difference, except when it comes to the Elvis guys. Things like generic ink cartridges work for me because the results are the same at half the cost. Besides you’ll never hear anyone gasp and say, “Did you know she uses compatible ink cartridges?”

I don’t mind most knock offs and substitutes but for me, fake people are as irritating as generic toilet paper. I so appreciate people who have the guts to be real, honest and authentic. And, they don’t need a label or sign explaining their certification of real, it’s obvious.

So many go through life with a mask or veneer, too afraid their weaknesses and flaws will be exposed if they’re honest and real about who they are and how they feel. They may look slick, but when things get tough and the wheels fall off, reality is exposed anyway.

We’re all fractured in one way or another and none of us is perfect no matter how hard we may try to make the rest of the world believe it. Carrying on that charade can be exhausting. Real people automatically cause others to relax and put down pretenses. No wonder we are drawn to them. In the end, authentic always trumps counterfeit … especially when it comes to people.

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