Some think it begins in grade school when little Suzy first makes little Lucy promise to never tell a soul. Only when Lucy agrees does Suzy tell Lucy that childish, yet so important, piece of information – a secret. Or it might be Joey and Jimmy sticking themselves with some pointed object to draw a bit of blood. With the mixing of that boyhood blood the great secret is revealed.
I doubt that those events are the start of secret telling. Suzy, Lucy, Joey and Jimmy had to first learn about secrets and what better place than home. It might have been Mommy telling a child, “Let’s make that our little secret and never tell Daddy.” It might be Daddy telling the children not to repeat something to anyone. It might be put in the terms of not airing the family’s “dirty linen” in public. Regardless of where or how, secret telling is learned and you can bet lying about them is universal. Each of us, all of us, have told or was told a secret.
Secrets are so universal that even organizations have secrets. In many cases they are called trade secrets which are only revealed after signing a non-disclosure statement. In governments the secrets may be labeled as secret or top secret. Social organizations such as the Free Mason have members swear on a bible never to reveal anything pertaining to the organization
The nature of a secret requires it not be revealed to others. The first recipient (second person) swears to tell no one else. But in so many cases the secret is seen as a commodity which in telling gives the teller some cache. How many times has the second person told a secret to a third person who also swore to never reveal the secret. In those cases it takes little time for a secret to become common knowledge, whence came the song, “I heard through the grapevine.” (Marvin has left the building.)
But there are secrets and there are secrets. This kind of secret is one in which we harbor deep, dark information in the depths of our minds and souls. These are not school yard secrets. Rather they are the special secrets we never reveal to another individual. It may be a major sin wherein the action we had, or not had, taken is truly significant and known to no one else. It may be a fact about ourselves that we never reveal. It may be a secret that if revealed would cause physical or mental pain to another. Whatever the secret may be, it is never revealed because of concern, fear, shame or possible reprisal. Whatever the secret, the individual never admits that the secret even exists. Asked if there are any secrets one holds, the answer is always no – they have no secrets to reveal.
These are the most secret of secrets that we take to our graves. As illuminating they might have been to family and friends, the secret is lost forever; it is buried with the deceased. The key is we all have at least one secret we have never revealed to anyone and never will.
Of course, in my case I have no deep, dark secrets.