Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is a leak generosity or treachery?

With all the attention surrounding Wikileaks and the sharing of countless classified documents, I asked the natural question that any Generous Mind might consider. "Is leaking all these documents an act of generosity or treachery?"

This is a challenging question. The people at Wikileaks believe that the public needs to know much of what was going on behind the scenes. In their minds they feel generous with what they have done. On the other hand their actions will reveal things that were secret for a reason. Who knows the impact of what they have done? In fact we may not know for a long time.

So one person considers the lead generosity and another person considers it treachery. What is the reality in this situation? Of course, it is not so black and white, is it?

I asked my twitter community this question and @rombokins gave a very helpful answer. See her input in three tweets:
@generousmind, i think nature of info and who benefits (leaker or leaked to) dictates whether leaking info is generosity or treachery.

@generousmind, if one has classified info that a massacre is going to take place & they leak it to potential victims, that's generosity.

@generousmind however in the present case it seems info has been leaked for the sake of gaining notoriety and drawing attention to selves :(

My friend from Kenya makes a very good point in those quotes (btw - her twitter feed is definitely worth following). The key issue she identifies is one of motive. A generous leak is one that is shared after weighing the benefits and drawbacks and then shares something with a desire to benefit and help others. A treacherous leak is one that helps you and your cause but hurts many others. Do you agree? Please share your perspective.


Andrew said...

Ooh... Is treachery the opposite of generosity? Perhaps a WikiLeak could be both generous and treacherous or indeed neither.

Surely the opposite to treachery is patriotism or some such. Simiarly the counter to generosity would, perhaps, be miserliness.

Now the 'Leaks aren't miserly. Whether they meet the patriotism test is a matter of opinion. It could be argued that if the public has a 'right to know' that it is in fact more patriotic to reveal the truth.

Now there's another quality that sticks its head up above the parapet. Truth.

I guess its all a bit too complex ;)

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Andrew, great comments. It is definitely not an either/or. There are generous intentions and treacherous outcomes all mixed together. A cause is a complicated thing with many motivations and rationales.