This is the post of the day. Seriously. Are you kidding? O.K., I guess I have to give Scott some credit in that, underneath that it says: “If you don’t want to write the secret itself, why do you think you failed to keep it?” This is a no brainer. I’d really like to know if anyone out there has blogged about a specific secret they failed to keep, because telling one or two people would be nothing to blabbing about it on the internet. Maybe if it was, like, seventy-five years ago it wouldn’t matter anymore. But how do you know?
I’m reminded of something that happened to a friend in college (something fairly benign, but I’m not about to reveal it). Even after 10 years, it was brought up at the rehearsal dinner the night before his wedding as a funny anecdotal story. Unfortunately, his parents hadn’t heard the story. Oops! Maybe at that point it didn’t really matter anymore, but what if it did?
No, secrets are best left as such. The originator of the secret is the only one who deserves the priviledge of letting the cat out of the bag, unless someone will be maimed or a law will be broken.
I have been trusted with secrets that I didn’t keep. Wow, that sentence was hard to type. I don’t like admitting it. I wish I could say it was because someone would get hurt, but it wasn’t. Something that is unfortunate about this is, by the time age graces your brain with some modicum of control, your faced with issues such as, seeing or being told that a friend’s kid has been smoking, drinking, driving crazy or behaving in some way that you know your friend would not like. Do you still break the silence?
This leads me to the reasons we break silence. Sometimes it’s gossip, though we don’t recognize it as such. We try to rationalize it with some pretty weak reasons to excuse our own behavior. Sometimes it’s an attempt to understand something about the human nature of people, a checkpoint if you will, to see if others reactions line up with our own, sadly at the expense of someone else. Sometimes it has to do with a situation so profoundly sad that we believe sharing it with someone else will help defray our own sadness about it.
The third part of the prompt was this: “Have you learned more about yourself such that you are strong enough now to keep a similar secret?”
I have a friend who went through an extraordinary situation. I couldn’t understand why this friend wanted to keep a tight lid on this, as the wrong had been done to my friend. When I asked my friend about it, this was the reply. “Because I realized I wanted to tell people for the soul purpose of hurting the other person involved, and no other reason. And that hurts no one but me. It makes me sinful, and adds to the burden of bad feelings I already have about myself.”
I’ve thought about that often. Wise words indeed.