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Monday, September 17, 2012

being egoless


Private and Confidential


How many of us have the power and tenacity to keep secrets?  Or are we of the belief that a secret is something we tell, one person at a time?  With the breach of privacy (once again) of the British Royals this week by media monsters - who obviously prefer to tell a secret one nation at a time - it raises the question of where our ethics and morals really lie, and how insultingly, recklessly and easily people are willing to divulge and misuse information.
Confidentiality is a much-needed quality in all types of relationships today.  Breaking a confidence can be the cause of many a feud or heartbreak.  Yet few are able live up to this ideal.
If someone else’s mail was marked ‘Private and Confidential’, would you have a greater urge to view it?  Why is it that ‘private’ information, ‘private’ photos, ‘private’ stories and so forth about others are so attractive, intriguing and appealing?
A world that misappropriates information simply for the sake of making millions, whilst damaging the lives and happiness of others, is not a world that most would choose to live in and yet we continue to play the game.  In the past knowledge equalled power, but in todays world any iota of information, even a topless photo, becomes sensational news and a money making machine.  It is repugnant to say the least!  Newspaper tabloids and social media pay millions of dollars for such things, for they know just how to pull the strings of the curious consumer puppets!
If there is no demand, supply will inevitably shrink!  But the problem lies in us.  Very few have the power to resist and restrain from indulging in such information and secrets.  This urge to live our own lives through the lens of the lives of celebrities and superstars, by constantly keeping ourselves updated on where they shopped and dropped, is a complete waste of time and reveals just how empty our own lives have become, and how ready we are to jump onto the next sensational news item!  At which point does curiosity become voyeurism?
On a personal level, how many of us are guilty of disseminating unnecessary, unhealthy information?  Does it contribute to my well-being, the good of society, or as editors like to argue, ‘the public interest’.  Unfortunately we just do not have the self-control or self-discipline to keep our eyes, mouths and ears closed and to mind our own business.  We allow the object of our curiosity to kidnap our higher and nobler values.
Being privy to someone else’s information, one needs to be more empathetic and responsible. Having a loving heart and a considerate mind, and the capacity to contain information is a reflection of maturity and wisdom.  If I speak about others, then that speaks volumes about me. And every time I speak badly about someone, I understand that someone is also speaking behind my back.
Using private and confidential information about others to boost our ego and sense of self-importance, is not going to make my life richer or happier.  Neither should being privy to sensitive or defamatory information about others make me feel that I am better than them.  In fact knowing someone’s secret should conjure up compassion and not criticism and judgment.
Being a holder of secrets takes a lot of humility and maturity.  To resist sharing information, even after knowing that it could give one an edge on something, is a sign of a great soul.  Even greater would be to hold a positive vision for someone, even after knowing their shortcomings; this is a sign of wisdom and a spiritually evolved soul.
Trust, discretion and loyalty are qualities that are in short supply in today’s world.  When we are fulfilled and content with our own life story, it is easier to heed to these qualities.  We can either go with the flow and be slowly sucked in to an ever-deeper moral vacuum, or we can stand up and be counted.  It takes courage and self respect to swim against the tide, but when enough people are prepared to stand up for their values, then we really begin to create a better society. This is what is truly in the public interest!
It’s time… to raise our morals and maturity, and respectfully guard information that has come our way.  Learning to keep matters private and confidential will ensure that we retain peace and holiness in all of our lives.  Honour others and ourselves by being mature, compassionate and not judgemental.  Spread this secret, one continent at a time!

Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket;
and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show that you have one.
Lord Chesterfield, British Statesman and Diplomat