Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Challenge of Transparency-

When I was around twenty two years of age I embraced my whole self. I decided that from that point forward I would fully accept the consequences of my beliefs, opinions, and actions. Whatever I said or did, I would claim as my own both in my heart and publicly.

It is my belief that on that day I became a man.

I also adopted a philosophy of transparency. I did not wish to live a secret life, with the real me behind a facade. I intended to be true to myself, and present that self to the world.

For the most part I have found this a livable philosophy. However, it has not always been easy for others. It leaves me with no option but truth. I can either speak the truth always, or remain silent. Even silence feels like a compromise, a hidden lie, but to speak the truth always is not always possible in society.

People depend on small lies, and they often live in delicately fabricated worlds. Truth speakers can disrupt these realms of delusion, and actually hurt other people. Some people live so deeply in delusion that the threat of truth causes them to become dangerously defensive.

My desire to live as myself and embrace truth did not give me license to destroy the delusions of others. Yet in the dance we call society the truth speaker is often out of step. Success in society, advancement in work, placement in social orders is not determined by truth alone. Often it is not determined by truth at all.

Even success in such an intimate relationship as marriage is challenged by too much truth. It is doable, as my wife and I have been married over three decades. Fortunately, she does not depend on deep delusions to maintain her world. She even challenges me when I stray from my own chosen path.

I have gravitated most often toward people and sub-cultures that embrace or at least tollerate transparency. I have learned to avoid people and orders which are deeply delusional and dangerous to truth speakers. I have accepted that my philosophy is not popular and that it is not common.

Then again, perhaps transparency is simply my own delusion.

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