Who wants to be transparent anyway?
I like this word “transparent.” It feels good. I remember when Obama was running for president, things were going to be transparent. Back then I think it meant that we’re going to understand how government works, i.e. how decisions are made.
Now it’s 2017 and I keep seeing this word. Hidden motives going away and people finally seeing how things will happen, sounds wonderful. Should I take this as a renewed promise? After all these years...
Then I tell my co-worker that I’m working on an article about transparency and he says the word is bullshit. He doesn’t like this word. He also doesn’t like the word “data scientist.” Before going back to work he tells me that people are scared of the truth.
What’s wrong with the truth? Why would anybody be scared of it? I decide to go to LinkedIn. On LinkedIn there are 237,602 people who list transparency as a skill. I learn that 726 of them are managers. I try to remember having a manager who was transparent (I have been in corporate America for 20 years). I decide that I can’t remember one.
Now I see the media holding people accountable for *not being* transparent. I dated this girl who worked for a local news channel and she goes: “You know how we always look prepared when we interview someone?” I go “yeah.” She goes: “Well that’s bullshit.”
Suddenly, as I’m writing this article I run across the words “seductively audacious” and it rings a bell. It’s seductive because the idea of having a lack of hidden agendas is so appealing. Audacious because you can accuse others of it.
Like my media ex-girlfriend, I realize that hypocrites can accuse others of hypocrisy and my dilemma begins to unravel. No longer do I have to rationalize with excuses like “society is being naïve but at least we’re moving in the right direction.” I hate it when I rationalize anyway, after all, what do they say the road to hell is paved with?