Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sincerity in the emerging age of Transparency.

When I first think of the word transparent, it somehow sparks a negative feeling. We talk about transparent people, usually in a bad way.

"I can see right through you."

I call the "slut" transparent, when they go to the party under the guise of innocent mingling.
I call the "schmoozer" transparent when they go to the party just to meet new friends.
I call the "stoner" transparent when they, at first, playfully deny the desire to smoke free weed.
I call the "cynic" transparent when they don't go to the party at all.

AND I call myself, the "critic," transparent when I criticize these people for attending the party that I am also at.

The more I understand these people and these things the more i realise that Transparency is a given. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to hide every secret that we have in our souls. There will always be someone wise enough to see it and dig it out.

I have no desire to discuss why am I am so critical. It is easier to simply be a critic. But the truth will always out. It doesn't take a wise man to know that I criticize those things I am jealous of.

I am transparent in that sense.

So why deny it? Why pretend it doesn't exist? Why perpetuate the anger, the criticism, the lashing out, the frustration, all the things that stem from those feelings that I try to hide from the world?

Why is it that so many of us would rather act out, than look in?

Why is transparency, something as undeniable and as much a part of our nature as breathing in and breathing out, considered BAD?

I believe its because we, as people, like to have our secrets. Not gossip, not stories. We have secret feelings, secret urges, secret desires, secret FEARS that we would rather not talk about. Because, if we talk about them, we will have to deal with them.


Ask any alcoholic.

If we are SINCERE about our feelings, they become real, and they become something we have to deal with. And frankly, that is very scary. AT FIRST...

This morning I watched Senator Obama's speech on race in its entirety. It was truly a work of art, written by his own hand. In 37 minutes, artfully using the metaphor of Race, he showed us his true wisdom. He showed us that the only way to solve any of our problems, be it political or personal, is to first accept that they exist. In this growing age of transparency, when most people see on their laptop and at their fingertips, anything they want, the only way to survive, is to be sincere. To deny labels and facades in favor of looking deeper. Anything less is a step backwards.

The only way to deal with transparency, is to do things that are worth seeing.

That is not to say we can not have fears, but we must not deny them if we want to move forward. We wear these labels and put up these facades because they are easier than dealing with our fears. I would rather be "the critic" than admit that I am jealous and scared to try things for myself. Because "critic" is something easy and tangible. But this is a facade, and can be easily seen through. I can't be afraid of what lies beneath "the critic."

Only when we deny our fears does "the slut" remain one.
Only when we deny our fears does "the schmoozer" remain one.
Only when we deny our fears does "the stoner" remain one.
Only when we deny our fears does "the cynic" remain one.
Only when I deny my own fear, do I remain "the critic."

When we admit our humanity, these labels go away.

We can admit our fear and try to love.
We can admit our fear and try to work hard.
We can admit our fear and try to live.
We can admit our fear and try to hope.
We can admit our fear and try to TRY.

We can all be people that are worth seeing through to the core.

And we can do it together. We can be more than "sluts" or "critics." We can be more than "white" or "black." We can be a society of people trying to be PEOPLE. But we have to stop pretending, and we have to work hard.

Please watch Barack Obama use this idea to get us to admit to not only the unspoken racial injustice that still thrives, but also to the unspoken fears that we may have in general as a country. To push, instead, for much needed sincerity to thrive in an undeniable age of transparency.

Because we aren't fooling anybody.

This speech is truly a gift from a wise man:

Don't be afraid to admit your fears. It is the first step.

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