We all know it when we hear it — the sound of the genuine. We hear it less and less these days, because marketing, politics and interpersonal communication often lacks honesty and authenticity. Stephen Colbert captured the erosion of genuine with the word “truthiness.” Here’s what he says in a new Rolling Stone interview by Maureen Dowd:“I’m not a fan of facts,” he boasts. “Facts can change all the time, but my opinion will never change.” Truthiness, a word he made up just before going on air, has been hailed by New York magazine as “the summarizing concept of our age.”Yep, it’s house of mirrors out there. I only feel worse after spending an afternoon at SeaWorld with my children. A lovely day and a great park, really, until we saw the Shamu show, which was themed “believe” with 20 minutes of video and speeches by the trainers filled with vapid platitudes about believing in anything/everything and an Anheuser-Busch salute to troops which had way too much beer logo to be authentic. My seven-year-old saw right through it in five minutes. She actually was laughing by the end. I could hardly glimpse Shamu amid all the truthiness.Fortunately, I spent the morning here in Orlando leading a session at the Multiple Sclerosis Society national meeting and the honest, transparent and effective marketers there made me so inspired that even the saccharine-coated insincerity at the Shamu show couldn’t undo my faith in authenticity.This is one place where we can and should claim our superiority as marketers: being genuine about our genuinely good causes.I will leave my last thoughts on the topic to Diva Marketer Toby Bloomberg, who hit the nail on the head with her blog post this week:Authenticity is difficult to mask… Meeting-up offline is one more reason for bloggers to stay true to the Blog Mantra of Honesty, Transparency, Authenticity and of course Passion. Honesty, Transparency, Authenticity are the building blocks of establishing trust. Sure is difficult to do business without it – online or off.