The Strength of Transparency

As one signs a contract or makes an agreement, they want to be as specific as possible, as well as transparent. However, in society today, the ease and habit to be vague and unclear means that the one being unclear will benefit the most in the end. This idea flows through the Geneseo Mission Statement. Geneseo’s Mission statement is rather short and broad compared to other institutions and only suggests that Geneseo is a public, liberal arts college that commits to helping inspire students who will be ready to take on the world when they graduate as, “ socially responsible and globally aware citizens who are prepared for an enriched life and success in the world.” Geneseo’s statement being vague and unclear leaves a lot up for interpretation when a student is reading, and may cause confusion among the student body and faculty. This is very important especially when agreeing to something that is going to affect several generations in the future as demonstrated in Bloodchild, by Octavia Butler. As the story develops, Butler argues for transparency through Gan and T’Gatoi, where Gan argues that people should be involved and taught about events that happen in every stage of life in clear and explicit details, instead of having vague explanations of events, which can be argued for today in the real world, where the world faces many situations that details are being hidden from us.

Octavia Butler wrote the story of Bloodchild, as a way to help face a fear of hers as she was to adventure into the Peruvian Amazon, which she mentions in her afterword. Also, she states that the purpose of this story is that “…it’s a coming-of-age story” that utilizes all the information available to help Gan “…make a decision that will affect the rest of his life.” The idea of decisions affecting your life is visible since Gan is becoming old enough to make the decision on if he wants to become pregnant or if he doesn’t want to. This can change Gan’s life forever since it includes becoming implanted with an egg by T’Gatoi and him giving birth to new Tilcs. This becomes a tough decision for Gan because he had witnessed the trauma of a Tilc birth gone horribly wrong, which causes him fear. The decision that Gan has to make also plays into the partnership that he and T’Gatoi have with each other because Gan is meant to be seen as an adult, however,  can not make adult decisions in the partnership that he and T’ Gatoi have. This leads to Gan pointing out to T’Gatoi, that risk follows in every partnership that one partakes in, which appears when Gan states, “‘If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.’” (Butler 26) This shocks T’Gatoi to realize that Gan can finally think for himself and make the decisions that will impact him for the rest of his life, which allows her to come to terms that Gan is ready for implantation. As well, it makes T’Gatoi realize that Gan will fight for what is right and just to all Terrains throughout the Preserve.

This story can connect to how society expects several things that seem unreasonable to many people and populations, especially because of contracts that were signed generations before. This idea radiates in both current day society and in the story of Gan and T’Gatoi, since everyone in society expects that high school graduates go to college, based on an idea that became ideal generations ago, while Gan’s family expects him to serve T’Gatoi, because that is what has become normalized in society, which is shown in Bloodchild. This idea becomes more apparent when T’Gatoi states “‘We wait long years for you and teach you and join our families to yours.’” (Butler 24). However, the expectation of the Preserve leaves many Terrans in the dark about the process of birth the males must go through, which causes more fear and hesitation to those who want to be hosts. Gan realizes the fear himself when he witnesses a live birth of a Tilc, which had gone terribly wrong, which left him feeling fearful. 

The feeling of fear causes Gan to come to the conclusion that he does not want to participate in this practice, however, he changes his mind to make sure that his sister does not have to go through this. To T’Gatoi however, she feels that Gan has no reason to be feeling fear and hesitation since T’Gatoi has been explaining the process to Gan his entire life through both diagrams and lectures, which becomes apparent that they are not enough for Gan since it leaves him in the dark and leaves him asking for more in the partnership. Which someone entering an agreement wants, to have a fair share and to have transparency. These demands are met towards the end of the story when Gan states that Terrans should be, “‘Shown when we’re young kids, and shown more than once.’” (Butler 29) To many, they feel this expectation of how society should be especially when it comes to the national government, corporations, and especially institutions, such as colleges, since students do not want to enter into an institution and pay for it if they feel that the university is being transparent with them. 

As students long for transparency when attending a university, whether public or private, since they are taking the risk of spending a lot of money on education, which could provide amazing rewards at the end. When fighting for transparency, they use other college mission statements to show the transparency they want, such and the Citadel. The Citadel’s mission is very transparent and specific as it states that they are a college who has a mission to “educate and develop our students to become principled leaders” through the implementation of their core values, as well as provide an unique experience through their South Carolina Corps of Cadets program, which gives the students structure through the military lifestyle that the college has. The Citadel wants their students to leave with the best skills and helps prepare them for leadership positions they may receive in life, which is through the use of their four pillars. Also the idea that flows through Bloodchild, connects to universities expectations of students since administration expects the student to act as adults, however do not give the students enough space to fully grow into adults and take on risks, which will allow students to experience the world. This connects because when students agree to go to the university, they are signing a contract that has very specific ideas, yet these ideas aren’t fully explained or exposed to the students, which leaves them asking for communication and transparency. 


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