I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Transparency is more expedient than lying




The biggest fear people have about transparency is obvious: they'll be "found out."

What they don't realize is that everybody around them can see the truth anyway.

Transparency is not really about whether you've done something wrong, although it can be.

Rather, and more importantly, it has to do with who you are as a person.

Here is why.

We live in an age where your identity is largely "constructed" (made up) rather than inherited like it used to be.

Today, as long as you declare yourself to be something, nobody has the right to tell you different.

Not to pass judgment - but to observe a significant social shift:

--A man can declare himself a woman because s/he feels like one on the inside.

--A person born into one religion can assume the identity of another, without converting.

--A college student can declare themselves a CEO.

--A homeschooled or online student can be awarded the same status as a student who attended a physical school.

--Non-married couples can declare themselves "committed."

And there is no contradicting this. Everything is seen as a matter of opinion.

Because there are no longer any really objective standards about things, opportunities for self-determination are greater.

But people also have a correspondingly higher level of anxiety about your authenticity when you declare yourself to "be" something.

Today when you want someone to "prove" their authenticity, you can't really go by physical evidence or credentials.

So where we have turned instead is what I would call "authenticity of personality."

Meaning, if the viewer sees your personality as integrated, healthy, consistent, and aligned with the identity you have assumed, then they accept you.

But in order to establish this level of psychological health requires an unprecedented, and unbelievably constant, level of honesty. And self-awareness.

That is why transparency is more expedient than lying.

Now we are the Facebook generation.

And being an upfront scoundrel is more credible than a "Mad Men"-like veneer of politeness.

Today, you can be honest and reviled and still come out on top.

But you absolutely cannot be a hypocrite or a liar.

Good luck!


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Image source here.