"Tadpole, do you have trouble keeping a secret?" He asked. "Not usually, Sir. But sometimes a friend will tell me something so amazing that I can hardly wait to tell others the big news." "You know that's not the right thing to do, Son. I thought I'd taught you better than that. Your parents, too. What is told in the ear of a frog often is heard 100 miles away. That might be said of you, at least in some instances. Irwin, everybody has secrets. Some are funny, some are scary, and some might even be sad. We share some secrets with friends while others we dare tell no one. They're kept deep within us. It is important for us to remember that secrets told to us aren't meant to be shared. For if they were, the teller of the secret would have done so themselves. If you're the type of frog whom others confide in, then you carry a burden on your little shoulders. This is true for humans, too. When someone tells you a secret, my boy, they are confiding in you something that is troublesome to them. it may be some part of themselves that others don't see. It is a huge responsibility...and an honor...for them to have enough trust in you to share something that's so personal. It can be hard to keep a secret."
Dharma went on to explain to me why it is so important that we learn to keep secrets when they are entrusted to us. First, and maybe most importantly, secrets mean that the teller has trust and confidence in us to keep their secret a secret. Trust and confidence are important in the building of all worthwhile relationships. The next important reason for secret-keeping is staying out of trouble. In today's fast-paced world filled with social media and all the gossip that goes along with it can make staying out of trouble more difficult. The simple rule is "See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil." For the purpose of this blog, it's the "say no evil" that we're concerned with. Most rumors start out as a secret. If you enjoy "sharing" rumors then you are, in fact, helping to spread someone's secret. The best thing to do is simply "say no evil." Dharma pointed out that sometimes secrets are given to us as a test of our ability to be loyal to our friend. If we spill the proverbial beans, then the secret-teller knows that we cannot be trusted. They lose faith, trust, and confidence in us, damaging that relationship, sometimes permanently. remember, too, that some humans have gone to jail for talking about things they shouldn't have! The final reason for secret-keeping is self-control. Keeping secrets is a very effective way to build self-control. In many cultures, gossiping is for children. Adults aren't expected to waste their time in idle gossip. Keeping someone's secret helps us to think before we speak. It is easy to blurt things out. But learning to think before speaking not only teaches us better self-control, it keeps the secret intact and out of the public's ear. And, just think about the burden you place on the one you tell the secret to. it places them in a position of either telling someone else, or sitting on a secret that wasn't meant for them in the first place!
when humans and frogs, too, decide to share a secret with another, it is done with the hope and the belief that the other can be trusted. It can be devastating to learn that our trust has been broken. The only time we should ever betray someone's secret is if someone's life may depend on our telling. But those instances are very rare. Secret-keeping can often feel like a burden but it is also an opportunity for us to help a friend who may need to "unload" his conscience. If you are the secret-teller, be as certain as you can that the whoever you choose to tell will keep your secret. And if you are the secret-keeper, you have a moral obligation to keep that secret to yourself. Spilling it will hurt everyone.
After Dharma left his morning, I thought long and hard about what he said. I promised myself that I would be a better friend and keep any secret that was entrusted to me. I also felt that I owed an apology to those that I may have hurt with my big mouth. It's not a pleasant chore, but I know I will feel better after I do.
I wish you a pleasant day, one that's filled with love, joy, and