Passing through the boundaries of privacy is dangerous business!
We shout to the world that we are the country of openness and freedom… But we really have just as many secrets as everybody else. The world is full of them, from the very smallest (the secrets of quantum mechanics) to the every day secrets (the ones that you and I keep hidden deep) to the big government secrets (where do all our taxes really go?) to the incomprehensibly giant secrets (how did the universe begin?).
We prod and pry and tease, and sometimes we learn what was once private. Sometimes we never do.
Imagine if it wasn’t that way though? Nothing kept hidden? No secrets at all? What would the world be like if we freely volunteered any and all information we possessed? What if we always shared exactly what we felt? Could we all live that way? Our deepest desires. Our beliefs. Our loves. Our frustrations… Free for all to know.
Would the world be better or worse? It’s hard to say. It’s easy to think that it would be ideal when we remove ourselves from the equation: “Hmmm… It would be a utopia in which openness and honesty reigned supreme! I would never have to guess about a person’s true feelings or motives! Deceit would be a thing of the past. That would be great!”
“…But wait,” we’d think, “I would have to tell all too? I would have to walk around philosophically and psychologically naked? WHOA! Hold up now… I’m not so sure about that.”
Yeah, it would be tough. But maybe it would be worth it. You would never again be hurt by a secret revealed. The burden of keeping secrets would be lifted. I think that would be pretty freeing.
Maybe we should give it a try and test it out. The next time we’re inclined to post a private sign, let’s instead lay out a welcome mat.
If only we could… Zeitgeist here we come!