To the Editor:
Keeping a secret is a type of responsibility, isn’t it? A secret held about oneself is similar to having it locked in a vault for safekeeping where there is only one key holder. Sharing a secret with someone can be risky and could involve a leak simply because that secret holder may intentionally or accidentally share it.
A familiar request is “please don’t say anything.” Also, asking someone “can you keep a secret?” often can generate a commitment from a curious and willing mind.
Emotions are involved with being asked to keep a secret. The person sharing the secret often will feel a release of not having to be the one guarding the secret. Sharing the responsibility of knowing about a secret divides the duty in half in keeping quiet. Knowing something private and personal about another person or thing can be a feeling of privilege. The secret holder receives the inside scoop that proves how the secret giver’s trust is attached to the information.
Holding truths that should not be considered secrets but recognized as important information? They must be given to the proper sources.
There are secrets that are harmless tidbits of useless information or just plain gossip.
A happy surprise party is a good secret to keep, but in some cases, the “cat gets out of the bag.” When the guests yell “surprise,” was it kept a secret? The people receiving the party would know.