Is being kept in the dark ever a good thing?

Dec 31, 2020 | 0 comments

Red Amaryllis On New Year’s Eve

Transparency.  It’s the hot new buzz word… or maybe not so new, now.  But it’s certainly “out there” no matter the discussion — whether it’s about science, politics, medicine, engineering or agriculture…  everyone is giving lip-service to transparency.  They either want it, are demonstrating it, or being accused of hiding it.  Somehow, none of us wants to feel that we are being kept in the dark.  But neither do many of us want to “tell all.”

Differences of opinion on the subject aren’t particularly new.  Take Santa Claus, for instance.  Some families protect his identity forever — or at least until the neighbor kid tells Johnny the truth or until Susie asks outright, “Have you been lying to us?”  Then the wriggling begins.  Other families explain the symbolism of Santa from the get-go.  Which is the better way?  Hard to know.

When it comes to “State secrets” the discussion becomes even more complex.  Ask Edward Snowden.  It’s a subject he wrestled with, became a man without a country over, and ultimately, has applied for Russian citizenship as a result of his decisions.  That seems extreme to me and, yet, when I read his book, Permanent Record,  I felt sympathetic toward him.

White Amaryllis on New Year’s Eve

Then there are the two Amaryllis plants gracing our living and dining rooms this season.  They, like  many other bulb plants, bloom in spring or summer when left to their own devices.  But, by keeping them in a cool dry dark place until fall, you can assure blooms in time for Christmas!  The perfect example of flourishing after being kept in the dark!

Happily, however, we are not bulbs.  (Although you do have to wonder about some folks.)  And, if kept in the dark completely and for too long, we would probably wither rather than thrive.  Bottom line…  the transparency issue is complex and involves far more than being kept in the dark.  The pros and cons have been discussed ad nauseum in business journals and academic treatises — with no satisfactory conclusion that I can see.   Check out the subject on the internet if you’re curious.  Or… maybe you’d rather stay blissfully in the dark on that particular subject.





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