Acting Out Facsimiles

America! — Land of pride and plenty — People rushing to nowhere — Idle time beyond compare — Ignoring others in despair — Searching for some certainty. — People hear yet seldom listen — Others look but cannot see — Competing in the wrong directions — ACTING OUT FACSIMILES.

These are a few lines from a 39-line satire I wrote a few years ago: AMERICA! SEACHING FOR REALITY. The song is actually about Americans – the backbone of America. A satire is usually negative by definition, but in these articles I convert the negatives into positive, constructive thoughts.


If we rush around without purpose, and have too much idle time, we tend to ignore really connecting with other people as we should. We don’t hear them, or see them, because we don’t have a sincere, concise, certain vision we are living in. We are competitive with others, not compassionate. This leads to what the song calls, “ACTING OUT FACSIMILES.”

We lawyers are trained to be actors and sales people. A comic said, “Most salesmen can’t compete with some of the stories lawyers sell to juries.” In truth, a facsimile should be the exact reproduction of the original. But as Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Most lawyers, and other people too, often ask the same question. The reason many courts do not accept facsimiles is that they can be tampered with – they can be a counterfeit. They can look much like the real thing but not be the real thing – in truth. Thus, in common usage, many people consider a facsimile to be ‘a look alike that is not genuine and authentic.’ It’s like the law and justice – it is said they make ‘strange bedfellows.’

Many people live like life is a facsimile – not really genuine and authentic. My education in psychology revealed that we consist of three things: (1) temperament, (2) character, and (3) personality. The first is inborn, the second is learned, and the third is chosen. Personality is our self-selected ‘mask’ that we want others to see. Often it doesn’t reflect temperament or character. Thus it is a ‘facsimile’ of what is real. Living like this is a disservice to other people.

A article I saw interviewed women who were heterosexual, but had become lesbians. The interviewer had asked WHY they had made this change. Many of them said that their relationships with men had been very unsatisfactory – the men had been fakes, and only wanted to ‘use them,’ sexually or for other purposes. They said men were uncommitted, and untrustworthy. This speaks to ‘acting out facsimiles.’ I’m not saying I totally ‘BUY’ the article, but it does reveal a very interesting perspective on human relations.

If people only show ‘a selected personality’ which is a ‘fake facsimile of the real thing,’ it often takes a long time to see through the smokescreen. This is one reason many counselors take a long time to get to know a person before they can begin helping them (while others just do so to run up the bill). But the truth is this: most people are hard to get to know. This is usually because they are not genuine and authentic. And, too often we have one ‘role’ we play at home, and another ‘role’ we play at work, at church, or wherever.

It is too deep of a subject to go into here, but Jesus says, “Love others as you do yourself.” Most people don’t have a good enough self-image, or a healthy enough self-love to be able to truly risk loving others – or even relate to them in truth. Too often, we wear so many masks, and play so many roles, we lose track of who the real us really is.

Living on HIGHER GROUND (the title of these series of articles), means that we must come to grips with what is authentic and genuine in us, and allow ourselves to communicate who we really are -the real us- to other people. This is having a healthy self love, and a good self image. It is only living in this reality that we truly come to grips with ourselves, and can know ourselves at our highest potential.

The more we can balance our temperament, character, and personality – and allow them to come into a unity – the more of a sound mind, and loving nature we will have. The most important thing we have in life is other people. Dealing with them genuinely and authentically should be one of our highest priorities. Anything else is ‘acting out facsimiles.’