Being bogus

Mar 27 2015.

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Current research in neuroscience reveal that regions of the brain actually improve with age and older adults show more wisdom than young adults, including how well we relate to others and maintain wellbeing later in life despite the losses that do occur with age in physical and perceptive abilities.  Older adults improve at regulating, or controlling, their emotions with age. This may allow them to feel more positive emotion, and less negative emotion, throughout the day and in response to life's ups and downs compared to young adults.

Getting invitations is a big thing for many of any age.  However, many of us have reached the stage of  ‘been there, done that and written the postcard,’ and now actually realise that accepting an invitation comes at a price.  This does not mean financially but the sense of obligation that once accepted and attended, be it a concert, play, dining experience or a weekend away and many more of such nature, one is obliged to lie and express what an enjoyable experience it was regardless of whether one actually liked it or not. Very few have the courage to express the truth.

This occurs even when one is invited to a friend’s or an acquaintances’ home and has to put with the most dreadful evening, eating the most tasteless food placed in front of you. Once the host or hostess announces that what is being served is the signature dish they are known for, all the guests in a matter of seconds begin praising the dish and are full of hallelujahs even though they see the dog walloping a bowl of some pedigreed food that looks more appealing than what they are eating. Same goes when one visits peoples’ new homes and actually invade their privacy by walking into their bedrooms and toilets at the beckoning of the proud owners, and, here again, start praising the marvels of the design of the house and  all its facilities.

Many food critics and travel writers, for instance, make a living by being bogus.  They get invited to many events to comment on the food, the accommodation, the entertainment etc., and the purpose is served when the coverage is full of accolades and no negative criticism.  There are some others who take advantage of these freebies and do their personal entertaining and holidaying whilst others get free wardrobes and much more under the disguise of journalism

This, however, does not apply to all in the field as some reputed in their field of work refuse even a free glass of water.  Gone are the days of Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, who knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

I am a firm believer that to be able to air one’s opinion is certainly better than being obligated over freebies as it certainly does give one a good feeling than being bogus. And this extends to bogus friendships too.

It is a different ball game if one pays for it.  One can demand one’s pound of flesh then and happily express an opinion as there are no strings attached since you are actually paying for what you have experienced.



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