I just bought a new wallet.  I have a wonderful canvas one from Eagle Creek that is rough and outdoor cool that I have stuck in my back pocket for 10 years.  I like it being crusty.  My wife doesn’t.  We were traveling and more concerned about security so I needed to put it in my front pocket.  It was too bulky..  I kept years of stuff in it.  All I really needed was two credit cards and a drivers license… oh, yeah, and my pacemaker card…

So we were in a medieval Italian town with the narrow cobblestone streets and I started looking for the slim leather kind that I had abhorred in the past.  And there it was, at the right price.  It felt nice.  Real leather.  And there was this beautifully embossed stamping that said “Genuine Leather”.  I like it.  I like the feel.  I now like the look.  I will show it to you.

This made me think about times gone by when “genuine” meant more…..  It is a new time and science has yielded so many new materials and ways to make things.  Many are truly terrific and what we have always imagined.  I love my synthetic, not cotton, canvas luggage with wheels.

But along with amazing increases in product quality there are still artisans out there doing it the old-fashioned way.  It is fun to find them and marvel at their skill and dedication.  However, over the years we have used the word genuine in non-genuine ways.  Saying that this is ‘genuine” when it is not.  So today we are wary of anything claiming to be genuine.  Ha!  Isn’t that a reversal?  We can no longer trust what we trust.  Huuhh??

Genuine leather… it still feels so wonderful… it is now a luxury to even have it as a trim….

What is genuine?  I hope I am genuine.  I know that my journey went through some periods when I was not when I thought I was….I now am.

I do not care what “they say”.  I am no longer hostage to what others might think of me.  If one thinks I am not genuine then “too bad”.  Not my concern.

If politicians were more genuine they could agree.  If politicians cared more about us we could be genuine.  If our neighbor cared more about being genuine we could have neighborhoods again.

If we were more genuine with ourselves we could see debt as an enemy, not a privilege.  Our kids need to feel that adults are genuine, not self seekers.  Our future is our kids and many more of us need to be the best example we can.  We need to point out the value of being genuine again.  The cancer of single momhood needs to be eradicated. Fathers need to be genuine again and take pride in the acceptance of responsibility.  Let’s make genuine a path to walk.  Let’s make genuine the effort we give.  A tear is genuine.  A drop of blood is genuine.  A Cross is genuine.

I am genuine leather.


Chris Bent

Milan  Italy


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