- Education and Science
Transparency: What Does it Mean Being Transparent?
The Meaning of Transparency
I've been hearing the word "transparent" and "transparency" used a lot this year. The word came up again for me yesterday - this time used by an ex heroin addict who said it when describing his new life - which now includes being "transparent" with those around him.
Being intrigued once again by this word - I decided to do some research into the meanings of the word transparency - in the hopes that it could be of benefit not only to me - but to others who seek to convey "light"...
According to the Wiki definition, the word Transparency, as used in the humanities and in a social context, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning. A "transparent" object is one that can be seen through. Transparent procedures include open meetings, financial disclosure statements, the freedom of information legislation, budgetary review, audits, etc.
According to the Free online Dictionary by Farlex, the more "traditional" meaning of transparency is this:
trans·par·ent (trns-pârnt, -pr-)
adj. 1. Capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material. See Synonyms at clear.2. Permeable to electromagnetic radiation of specified frequencies, as to visible light or radio waves.3. So fine in texture that it can be seen through; sheer. See Synonyms at airy.4. a. Easily seen through or detected; obvious: transparent lies.b. Free from guile; candid or open: transparent sincerity.5. Obsolete Shining through; luminous.
Transparency in Our Own Lives
So... in our own lives, what does transparency really mean?
We all know why the word is being bandied about this year by the politicians, but for ourselves what does being transparent really entail? Is is just some buzz word that suddenly came about because of the fiscal crisis or could it mean something much deeper and more meaningful for our personal lives? Like for the ex heroin addict I spoke about earlier... for him being transparent has a whole other meaning. It means being real to himself and the people around him. Being real enough that other people can see who he truly is. Not covered up, not bound up but clear enough that his real soul...his own personal "light"... can shine through.
1. Capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material.
The above definition of transparent makes the most sense to me. What do you think?
I'm Attempting to be "Transparent" in my Own Life
I have to be honest here, I haven't written in awhile, and writing tends to be my therapy. I'm going to try to be as transparent as I can right now because I think that that's what God wants me to do. Yes, you heard that right. God. So if the word God turns you off you might want to stop reading this right now. I do believe in God - and I believe God is our true source of light - or transparency, if you will.
So with that said i will go on to say that even though I gave God in my life, life kind if sucks for me right now (yes I used the word "sucks" because that's the word I use when it does) So yes even though I have God with me, I'm not a particularly "happy" person right now. The neat thing though is that even though I'm not very happy, I have managed to remain fairly transparent in my life. Transparent enough to help other people be happy. And when that happens, I find that I have joy. I may not be happy, but I do find my moments of joy. And those moments of joy are what prop me up...
So how am practicing the art of being "real"? By being myself, by being honest about who I am and what I believe in. I crave to be as transparent as I can because I believe that is the only way that not only can I see my own light but others can have some light to follow as well (kind of imagine the person ahead of you in the wildnerness holding the lantern if you will - if no one had any light where we would go?)
A Lantern Gives Light, Like We Should
Being Transparent Makes Us a Lantern to Others
So you might be asking yourself just what in the world is she writing this hub about? To extol the virtues of her transparency here or to say what an honest person she is? No, I'm not proud to say it but every single day I make mistakes. I mess up. All the time. But guess what?? God keeps forgiving me every time, and I keep asking for forgiveness and I keep trying to forgive others. If I don't I know my life will really really suck because I my conscience, my inner light, will extinguish. I don't want to be a broken light bulb!
Recently I talked to a young lady at work who opened up to me and divulged some very personal hurtful things that were happening in her life. She later shared with me how she later questioned doing this with me because she had not talked with anyone about her problems, let alone almost a complete stranger (we had just met) I thought hard about this and realized that it was my willingness to be transparent that enabled her to talk about her own feelings. Had I not been open and honest with her I'm sure she would not have had that comfort level to be open and honest with me. Which leads me to my point about being transparent and letting our light shine through...
IMHO, I think we sometimes put too much effort into putting on a good face to the world, denying our weaknesses and hiding our faults. I have been around long enough to understand that we do need to be careful who we share very personal things with, but on the flip side, if we never share anything how can we ever be of help to someone else or receive help back?
If you are hurting or have something to share, or if you are someone with lots of good and kind information to give out, consider my words and consider sharing yourself with a fellow human being. Doing so may change the course of their life, yours and help you to be a better person. And it sure feels good to be open and honest... "transparent"...Like the old saying goes...openness and honesty are the best policies, right?
Even our politicians realize this now. Hopefully they too will continue to aim to be as "transparent" as possible, especially now when so many people are seeking the truth.
To read more about my online writing - or see my artwork and photography, please visit my website at www.dorsidiaz.com. I welcome your comments and thank you for reading.