What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word, Detective? I am so sure that you have already shifted a few centimeters in your seat… You may also have images of a Sherlock Holmes or our very homegrown Byomkesh Bakshi running past your eyes. Many of you, may have recollected snippets from your favourite mystery novels. Isn’t it always, so interesting to unravel the hidden truth, a secret which is so closely and so carefully guarded by an individual? But what really happens, if we turn the angle of the story and make it a narrative of your well-kept secret! Does it send a chill down your spine? Do you feel as vulnerable as a butterfly who has just been touched by a human? Sensitivity cannot be practiced in a silo.
The first step could be respecting boundaries. We have often heard of people who are very private. They are not secretive but they have well laid boundaries for themselves and others. So, when I do not tell you about my personal life, as it’s a choice that I have made, which has literally no impact on you, your life and even the work that we are in, as a team…I am somewhere also sharing an opportunity with you, to do the same. How does my lifestyle preference, salary, age, marital status, etc. have any bearing on your existence? Hence, privacy of and in my life is an entitlement that I can or must choose to exercise. Don’t believe me but try it out. You will be pleasantly surprised, how it can really take care of the vice(s) existing in us.
Somewhere, along the line, you may have/ will come across secrets. It has many dimensions and definitions. Though, the two most familiar being, the good secrets like our grandma’s recipe, our secret sauce, encashable trade secrets, etc. But if you, pause and think, are they really secrets or just lesser known facts!? For me, in particular, apart from the Secret Santa, secrets are not very pleasant and desirable by their owners! And those who have them, follow what John le Carre says…” Never trade a secret, you’ll always get the short end of the bargain.” And this is why, most secrets live and die with their masters.
Secrets exist for a reason, they defy/ challenge/ question, the norms of a family, office, society, nations and the world. We all have or had one of them, at some point of our lives until the burden of it becomes so overwhelming that we cannot take it any further. Possibly, that could explain us the concept of deathbed confessions often tagged as haunting. You may be a custodian of someone’s secret, in their lifetime, though it’s very rare ONLY because of its intensity and depth! We must accept that secret by nature is not frivolous. Hence, the safest place that many find to save it, is in their heart or mind.
Read also: Digital Intrusion: Knock, Knock… anyone home?
A few commonalities of such, not so good secrets are that they are sad, grim and weigh very heavy on one’s conscience. The physical manifestations of keeping your own or someone else’s secret is that there is a constant fear and guilt of being unfair to the self or others. This means that stress becomes an unwanted but constant companion. The choice is for you to make of being private or being secretive! Should you choose to be secretive, remember that secrets which arrive unannounced in your life will have a different journey with you…While those secrets which are a result of your doing will have a distinct presence…In either case, secrets have a potential of being lethal even before you experience it. In the words of E.W Howe, “The man who can keep a secret may be wise but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep”!
So, will you decide to take a chance to be truly wise or will you Shhh?