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By laurensj May 06, 2013 1317 Words
The Secrets We Keep
“We all have secrets; we live and breathe them every day. We may not know what one another's secrets are, but we know they're there.” This quote is from the famous author Gail Saltz, M.D of the book Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie. Everyone is known to have a private side, which they may reveal to few, if any. According to Merriam Dictionary a secret is defined as “something that is kept hidden or concealed.” On the other hand, the Merriam Dictionary states a secret is “something kept from the knowledge of others or shared only confidentially with a few.” Both definitions state that secrets are supposed to be hidden or concealed, meaning nobody should know anything about the secret. The Merriam Dictionary defines secrets to be shared by a few, because it’s human nature to tell the ones we are close to the exciting moments that are happening in our lives. It’s no secret that all of us have secrets, so why do we keep secrets? It’s in our society to keep secrets from others; we like to hide or conceal those little details from others, because we've deemed them irrelevant. I don’t know where the start of secrets formed but it seems like people have kept secrets since the beginning of time. In Biblical times Adam and Eve, the first man and woman on earth, tried to hide that they didn’t obey God’s rules about eating from the forbidden tree. This is where original sin was created, meaning that no human is born perfect. Even the first people on this earth tried to keep a secret or rather a lie, because they knew what they did was wrong. They wanted to please God, and they knew disobeying his rule would make him discontent. Our own founding fathers had secrets, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote secret journal entries based on their own ideas of how America should become as a country. They didn’t want to reveal themselves to the public because they didn’t want to be put to shame for putting out their own ideas and believes and the form of their secrecy made public read their articles. From the very beginning of time, people roaming the world they lived up to this high standard while being forced to hide their true selves from others. When we keep a secret it’s mostly a lie, maybe because we don’t know how to explain the truth. We keep the secret of Santa and the Tooth Fairy, because it’s in our culture to make children believe that there is a man in red suit giving away presents and a little fairy exchanging teeth for money. We explain these myths to younger children because if they go to school and tell their classmates, they will be ostracized and we’ll face the rage of parents. To us, it’s not worth putting that burden on our children, so we keep the secret until we decide its time to tell them the truth and they would hopefully see that it’s worth it. The myth of the Tooth Fairy started in in Europe. Adults wanted their children to create trust; it’s pretty ironic that parents are lying to their children just so they can learn how to trust. Never less, these two myths and many more seem to be a never-ending tradition that our society intends to break. The most influential reason why people keep secrets is because of the media and the disguises celebrities put on. They seem to be put together on red carpets and interviews, but on the latest magazine stands we see a certain celebrity go off the rails. They put on a persona that makes them seem likeable, so we could continue to support them in their famous career. Most of the time some celebrities can’t handle the fame and end up cracking behind the cameras, instead of admitting or getting the help they really need. They live a secret life, or really life of lies because they don’t want to be seen as imperfect, but that’s what our public media expects them to be perfect. Secrets can cause people to behave in ways that seem entirely out of character. Some would go to the extreme length to hide what simply must be hidden. People put on a mask to cover whom they really are just so they feel like they fit into our society. Teenagers are especially trying to figure out who they want to be in the world and they would hard to be someone who we aren’t so they can fit in to the newest crowd. I remember my freshman year in high school my main focus was to be accepted. I went to the extreme to try and fit in. I would lie to my mom; my grades were slipping, just because I wanted to be a part of the cool crowed. When my family started realizing I was changing, I soon realized too that this wasn’t who I want to be. I got trapped in the pressure of high school and hide what I didn’t think was necessary to share with my family because that is what I thought everybody else was doing. Today, more and more teenagers experiment with drugs because it's seen as the “cool” thing. Most girls idolize celebrities and models seeing them as the most beautiful people in world just because of their looks and their bodies. In a way this is poisoning girls’ minds, some are seeking to get plastic surgery, Botox and even go to the extreme of developing an eating disorder just to make them think they look more attractive and feel sexy because that’s what our society has named this as beautiful. One of my friends from high school developed an eating disorder our junior year in high school; she kept it hidden for months until she was clearly all skin and bones. She hid this secret from everyone she knew because she felt trapped and refusing to eat was her way to gain control. She wanted to be like all the other celebrities who were thin because everyone seemed to admire them and that’s all she wanted, to be noticed. It seemed like having an eating disorder was the coolest thing because the idea of being thin is every woman’s dream. To her, it wasn’t relevant to tell somebody that she needed help in that situation until someone noticed for her. Secrets can also be profound sources of shame, guilt, anxiety, and despair. Secrets: can't live with them, can't live without them. Secrets are irritating, thrilling, and dangerous. We all can’t help to have secrets; there is always something we want to hide either from others or ourselves. I found out the main reason why we keep secrets is because we are afraid to be judged by others. Whether we admit it or not, we all have a fear to be judged. So we conceal or deepest darkest secrets because they are seen as our weakness. Our society has made us believe that we must keep our secrets hidden because it is seen as unworthy that we all have our flaws. Secrets usually get let out in the air and then quickly disperse and left unspoken. Like a secret you have told your best friend. Or those secrets that eventually die out because they eventually become irrelevant; just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. There are those rare occasions that those secrets should be let out in the air, because sometimes secrets can do more harm than good. Luckily enough my friend got the treatment that she needed to get healthy again. Everybody has a secret, we may not know the secret but we do know its there, those secret-keepers keep on doing what they do: living one life.

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