Secrets: Only When Necessary

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The Truth War – JonChristopher “Jayman” Alan Collins – FEBRUARY 3, 2017


People should keep anything said in a private conversation confidential. All of humanity has secrets. From early childhood people are taught that the contents of birthday and Christmas presents are to remain secret until the unwrapping. From the cheating spouse to the expectant mother ready to surprise her husband, we all hold secrets. Some secrets are good and harmless; hence, the wife who receives news that she is pregnant. Then there is the former: secrets that are destructive and need to be brought into the light.

As journalists, we hold dear the confidence of sources, especially when handling sensitive information. Therefore, people should avoid gossip; keep private information relayed to them in confidence because it respects the boundaries that are expected. In investigative journalism, and journalism as a whole, it is understood that secrets doing harm to society merit exposing. This principle shows the importance of whistle blowers. Journalism was also used against the British crown by the underground resistance to promote the incoming revolution. So, breaking silence on certain secrets has a place. Being a journalist, I can say that if a contact gives me information and I misuse it, I have not only lost the trust of that contact; I have also tarnished my reputation.

People of other career fields also understand this. For example, counselors risk losing their job if they break confidence. Even Jesus kept secrets! Mother Mary kept secret her pregnancy. Many times Jesus charged people not to go about town revealing his identity to the collective. Another Biblical example is that Jesus spoke in parables. This kept the pearls from the swine, so to speak. In fiction, superheroes have many secrets. Secrets are not inherently evil, nor are they inherently good. Rather it is how the secrets are used that determines their moral standing. So, it all comes full circle! Secrets are best kept secret, unless they are harmful to keep hidden.

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