It was like a brick dropping on my head.
It was like sitting at my kitchen table, thinking I was seeing nothing, doing nothing, and then noticing this little drop of quenching water that contained the reflection of my entire world, sky and all.
Think about it.
- Some job you loved, felt valued as you did it, thought this was *it*! And then one day some little nagging started. There was something about the way the boys were promoted faster than the girls, but no one acknowledged it. If you asked for transparency, you became a problem. The ethics on the outside are no longer matching the ethics you carry on the inside.
- You are living in a space and all is well, but then something happens. The garbage disposal doesn't work right one day. It gets fixed. Something else with plumbing happens. You keep telling the owner that something isn't right. They keep saying nothing's wrong or get accusatory like you are doing something. (Much later you find out there is a HUGE plumbing incompatibility with all the tree roots around the house, but the owner was a slum lord who wouldn't invest in fixing even though they knew the problem.) No transparency in the business of landlord/renter relationship.
- Your child has died and for Christmas you decide to hang a stocking with the deceased child's name on it, same as all the other stockings hung for all the other living children who are coming to the big family holiday. But some family member picks a fight, takes the stocking down, says it is selfish of you to want that there, it is time now to "get over it" and be present for the living children only. And on and on. What is not transparent here is that the bothered family member does not want to face her own mortality; she fears death, dying, grieving; is unable or unwilling to talk with her own kids about grief, so doesn't want any mention of it anywhere. There is no transparency about what is really going on for each person, and so no one's needs are being met.
Hard to be transparent when one party can't admit or see the larger picture at play -- in any of the above situations!
When we lose the vulnerability of transparency, we are not being real with each other. Happiness is difficult to foster when transparency isn't possible. That doesn't mean that transparency makes everything happy la-la by any means! The roots of the trees around the house are still breaking all the plumbing pipes. The fix would be messy, human, flawed, costly. The landlord would have to admit they made mis-steps in the past. The business ethics of the landlord/renter relationship would need some work. But in the end, it could be so much better for all involved.
I don't know. Maybe that's all bullshit, and things just go awry when they go awry. Or maybe they go awry because of my own inability to be transparent, too. But something in the Dalai Lama's talk about the role of transparency in happiness just really hit me to the core. There is some fundamental element there.
What about you? What are your thoughts on transparency? Have you had an experience of happiness or needs being met when engaging in transparency? Have you lost touch with happiness or had needs go unmet in spaces where you withheld transparency?
Go gently, loves!