Brian Clark over at copyblogger wrote an interesting post on whether or not people really want transparency and authenticity that sparked a discussion that’s well worth reading.
There are times when, “Do these pants make me look fat?” needs to be answered yes, but that yes can be phrased far more diplomatically, e.g., “You have far more becoming outfits to wear.”
Is the businessman who projected a positive persona that performed well truly at fault because his inner thoughts were different from the outer ones?
Isn’t what goes on in your head your business or is what we think the crime vs. what we do?
Isn’t it only when our thoughts spur actions, our own or others, which are detrimental to individuals or society that outsiders have the right to judge them?
Rich Brooks commented, “So, maybe it’s not that what we want is transparency and authenticity, but what we DON’T want is concealment and dishonesty.”
Sounds right, but all four attitudes-transparency, authenticity, concealment and dishonesty—are still situational, based on the society and time in which they’re happening. According to Lynn Sharp Paine, the John G. McLean Professor at Harvard Business School, “Indeed, as the size and importance of corporations have increased, so has the general propensity to view their activities through a moral lens.” (See post)
Unfortunately, the world isn’t black and white, but rather it’s done in shades of gray based on the beliefs of people in a particular society and at a particular time.
Most social police, blogging, fashion, etc., started as one person with a specific set of forceful opinions and the skill to make them known to a wide audience from which, s/he amassed like-minded people who added their voices and built clout until they suddenly became the arbiters on that topic. This scenario applies equally in politics (think Hitler), religion (every religious leader throughout time), etc. But being the <?> police doesn’t make them “right.”
Even most judgmental words such as, right, wrong, good, bad, etc., have meanings that have changed at various times in history and in the same times, but in different societies and cultures, or even the same ones.
Universally, murder has always been considered bad, but what constitutes murder is ever changing.
The most we ever state is our own opinion, IMO in today’s lexicon, as I have done today and then hope that it is backed up by others who share it.