Not long ago a very upset looking young lady appeared in my office doorway and asked if she could talk to me. I invited her in and as soon as she sat down, the tears began to flow. I offered her a tissue, gave her a moment, then asked her what had happened. Most of the time students are a little reluctant tell their tale right away and have to be encouraged a bit, but this young lady jumped right in. It seems that her best friend, a girl she’d known since first grade, had betrayed her trust. I won’t go into the particulars here, but in a nutshell, she had shared what she considered to be a very personal secret with her friend and asked not to tell a soul. A few days later her friend turned around and told several other students who in turn told several more and now, this poor young lady was the laughing stalk of the sophomore class, another victim of the dreaded “curse of revealed secrets.”
This is a very common theme among students, just as common as the scandalous “he said, she said,”scenario. Let’s face facts, secrets and the inability to keep them, cause many serious problems. From the innocence of “our little secret”and “family secrets” to the ominous “military” or “government secrets”, concealment of information can cause irrevocable damage. The surgeon general should issue a warning on secrecy. “Warning: Indulging in the act of secrecy may be harmful to your relationship with others.” In fact, I think secrecy should be outlawed! That’s right, secrecy, the act of willfully withholding any type of information from one or more individuals, should be banished from the face of the earth!
Ridiculous you say! Absurd! I think not. Don’t be too hasty on this one. First impressions are not always correct. Take a moment and kick this one around a bit. Open up your mind and picture if you will a society free of secrecy. Secrecy a felony offense punishable by prison time, community service and/or a fine. The sentence to be determined by the severity of the secrets involved. A society truly of the people. Everyone, rich or poor, would know the truth about everything that goes on. Imagine knowing about the corruption and politicking that goes on at local, state and federal levels. Politicians and government officials no longer able to hide what’s really going on, behind a veil of lies and smiles. With no one to keep her dirty little secrets, the machine might actually thrive and be rebuilt on the principles of truth and justice as was our founding fathers intent.
Imagine a society working together for the common good, no hidden agendas, no deep dark secrets. That would definitely be nice. And with the dreaded “curse of revealed secrets” eliminated, it would certainly make for better times on middle school and high school campuses. Yeah, I know it’s crazy and highly unlikely. But hey why not?
Just a thought…