I keep being amazed at the aversion and suspicion toward the Wikileaks affair. How can anyone even wonder about or be against a long overdue need for transparency among humans? If it were not such a serious issue, it would be laughable that we, a reasonably intelligent cohort, allowed our circumstances to degenerate to a depth, where all information, funds, influence, and knowledge resides in hands of a small elite, while large groups remain deprived from even the basic needs.
Whatever Julian Assange's initial goals may have been with this medium, the attention that the Wikileaks earned in the past few months will force him to at least meet the expectations of the billions who are now watching his moves with bated breath. Wikileaks shook up the sleepwalking masses and may have started an awakening process that will change the world forever.
Unfortunately, there are still many who prefer to sleep, simply because it's easier to dwell in blissful ignorance than to fully face the cruelty we are capable of applying onto each other. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that, in hindsight, our species is not as well-organized and united as we might have liked to think. With all the disclosures Wikileaks still seem to have in store for us, we may be facing a mental tsunami for which there is no other preparation than simply waiting.
The upcoming expose' is the big "B", Business, according to Assange's source. Not that there would really be much new under the sun to those of us who have been analyzing the trends and qualities that have been cultivated in 20th century business practices. It is not really a mystery that these trends and qualities, which are still largely demanded by corporations and consequently promoted in many business schools, have been the greatest instigators for the blatant disparity in the world: the growing discrepancies between the haves and the have-nots. The big "B"-exposure might put names and faces behind the actions, but it will not change the facts. Those facts can only be changed by our collective response.
The 20th century is history, and its behavioral patterns are crumbling. Holding on to them would be foolish and would say more about us than about their unfairness. As I see it, Wikileaks is a natural fraction of the sensation that is the 21st century: a new era in which all previously forbidden fruits can be eaten without indigestion, for there was never indigestion: just a fear that was instilled in us to keep us from trying. In this era we have already become accustomed to promoting ourselves at little or no cost, communicating worldwide instantaneously, conducting major research with minimal financial or physical effort, and learning as much as we want as fast as we want to.
While Wikileaks have been around for a few years now, we have only recently learned about this source on a major scale. I suspect that once the idea has nestled itself in our psyche, and Wikileaks are as commonly accepted as Wikipedia, we may finally start witnessing and practicing the big three:
- More forthrightness from sources that are supposed to be trustworthy, such as governments and big business. While it's unfortunate that this candor will only be instigated in a reactive manner, it's better than not at all. Now that there's danger of the dirty laundry getting displayed, there may just be more effort invested in keeping it clean.
- Greater access to information that has thus far been amassed by a precious few, in order to maintain influence in their elite clan. This might finally give way to the rectification of a grave distortion, which we have come to accept as the standard.
- Greater balance among human beings: an immediate consequence of the previous points. Openness and transparency could just be the crucial keys we need to finally attain thus far unrealistic targets such as the Millennium Development Goals, which focused on laudable attainments such as literacy for all, no poverty, better healthcare, curing of unnecessary deceases, eradication of unnecessary deaths, global access to clean water and other important resources, greater gender equality, and not to forget: a global compact.
This may seem far-fetched, but then again, if the past 30 years have taught us anything it is that nothing is far-fetched anymore, and that everything that was once ridiculed or considered utopic, is common practice today. We're looking forward to the second decade of the 21st century!
Joan Marques is the author of "Joy at Work, Work at Joy: Living and Working Mindfully Every Day" (Personhood Press, 2010), and co-editor of "The Workplace and Spirituality: New Perspectives in Research and Practice" (Skylight Paths, 2009), an anthology with contributions from 25 authors from all over the globe. She has also authored 6 other books among which, "The Awakened Leader: One Simple Leadership Style that Works Every time Everywhere", and "Spirituality in the Workplace: What it Means; Why it Matters; How to Make it Work for You." Dr. Marques is co-founder of the Business Renaissance Institute and the Academy of Spirituality and Professional Excellence, through which she regularly co-organizes conferences and dialogue sessions for workforce members and business scholars. She is also co-founder and Chief-Editor of four scholarly journals, and facilitates MBA courses in Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. In addition, she presents a weekly radio column in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; a weekly newspaper column in Suriname, South-America; and has published more than 300 scholarly and popular works through media worldwide. Her publications have appeared in Leadership Excellence, Personal Excellence, WomenEntrepreneur.com; Fox Business News, and others. Dr. Marques holds a Bachelors degree in Business Economics; a Master's degree in Business Administration; and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Website: http://www.joanmarques.com