I like transparent people the most. The ones who don’t cover up their imperfections with perfect masks. I have some friends that willingly admit their shortcomings, fears and insecurities, who are willing to get advice from others and who are very quick to say sorry when they realize they have stepped wrong. Actually, the first person (other than Steve. He is always so transparent that I have to tell him it is OK if he doesn’t tell the whole world every time he picks his nose) I thought of right now was our Partners team leader in Thailand, Brad. I think his humility is part of what makes him such a good leader. He is more gifted and capable than most people in the world, and yet, he constantly asks for help, guidance and forgiveness. If a person like him needs that, how much more do I? (Don’t even ask, please.)
I am working on becoming a person who gladly lets the world know my shortcomings. I try to tell myself that imperfection is OK as long as I am willing to learn, to change, to admit wrongs. Imperfection is OK as long as I still seek to do what is right for others. It’s OK to ask for help. To ask for help is the hardest. By doing that I am revealing my incompetence and letting another person be above me in whatever skill I need help with. That would be OK if it was a skill I never claimed I had, but, oh, so hard when it comes to the areas where I thought I had it figured out, like raising kids and husbands—or how to do Photoshop, for that matter.
On the news yesterday they talked about how the military junta in Burma will not allow any foreign observers to come to the country to observe their so-called democratic elections. None. Period. It’s obvious why. If they had nothing to hide there would be no problem at all to allow people to come and watch how they are doing this d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y. But they have a lot to hide. A lot to be ashamed of. A lot that they should be very worried about the world finding out. Better to keep the world out.
I like transparent governments the best too. The Burma government is certainly not one of those. The elections are going to take place in less than a month. I wonder if one of the reasons they won’t allow any foreign observers to watch is that they have followed the tradition they started when they had the Constitution approved: They filled in the ballots for the voters, they held a gun to their head and told the voters how to vote, they threatened the voters with kidnapping of family members, loss of jobs and other uncomfortable prospects if they did not vote right. That and the fact that they still, as of last week shoot on kids. (you can read the latest report from FBR on that—http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2010/20101014.html)
It would be so much better if they at least could say: Help! We don’t know how to run this country. Can somebody come and help us figure out how to keep a human right for example. So much better.
Sadly, I doubt it will happen any time soon. Pride. That is the opposite of transparency in my book.