Filters. They. Are. Everywhere. In the boardroom, in Roomba’s, on social media. Disguising something. Something … raw. Unembellished. Bare. Undisguised. When did filters become the new black?

Photo filters change the appearance of a moment we desired to capture in its most natural state. Filtered responses often create ambiguity, requiring unwanted, additional effort to clear the air.

Is our reality so demoralizing that we can no longer strive for authenticity? Or do we lack grace in our response in the midst of rawness, driving fear into the depths of the individual with good intentions?

Sure, filters are incredibly beneficial for things like swimming pools, cars, air conditioners and water purifiers, to name a few. But when it comes to human emotion, I much prefer a raw state. Strong and undisguised. A wear you heart on your sleeve type. Not to be confused with rude or brash. Rather, self-aware, humble, genuine.

Many of my friends kick off each new year with the one word exercise – deciding on a single word to focus on for the next 365 days. I’ve attempted the exercise for a few years now. Often times, by Spring, my word fizzles into the background as I get consumed with the day-to-day grind. But, I’m not giving up on the intent of the exercise.

I started to think of that one word for 2019 back in early December. And here we are, approaching the eve of February and I’m just now settling on it. Raw.

For me, there’s never been a more important day than today to be raw: (adj.) (of an emotion or quality) strong and undisguised.