It is past midnight as I write this, and I am writing it in an attempt to clear something from my mind so that I might get a few precious hours of sleep before 5:00AM rolls around.
I had intended on naming this post "Secrecy", but in the spirit of true honesty, I think "Disappointment" is a more accurate label for the feelings jumbling around inside of me right now.
If we look back in history at failed events, failed persons or failed governments or organizations, it seems that secrets - whether they be well-kept or ill-kept - have played a part in many an unraveling. Going back to the beginning of time, in Biblical terms anyway, Man's first failure occurred in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then tried to hide their mistake from God. Since then, how many times have the bonds of trust been broken because of secrets?
Here's the trouble with secrets: The best-case scenario is that the secret is revealed as planned, but there are always people who are smart enough to put two and two together and figure out that something was in the works that most likely could have and should have been revealed much sooner or included a wider circle of participants. The worst-case scenario is when a secret is leaked out unintentionally, usually because of the influence of alcohol or false bravado. It has been my experience that the worst-case scenario is usually the scenario that happens most often.
I think that people rarely intend to be conniving nor are they are plotting or circumventing someone. In fact, many times they genuinely believe that they are doing the right thing or "doing what's best for everyone in the end." In their minds, there are not any secrets at all, but merely facts and circumstances that will be revealed at the optimal time and place. The trouble with this "big picture" approach is that there is no way to anticipate the reactions of the receivers of the" news". Are they to feel exciting about this turn of events? Should they feel a sense of gratitude that the "big reveal" was sprung on them and that they didn't have to be bothered with the decision-making process? Or, will some people have dissenting opinions that, if voiced, will be too little, too late? Will some people feel excluded or belittled? My guess and my experience tell me that in any random group of people who are supposed to be working together for a common cause, there will be a mixture of all of these reactions. My experience also tells me that if there is even one person who feels betrayed or marginalized when they "come in at the tail end of the story", then that is a problem.
Transparency should be the goal of any group of people working toward a common cause. If you are proposing something that is in the best interest of all and does not fly in the face of earlier commitments, what do you have to fear from disclosing it to all parties? If there are dissenting opinions, is it not better to hear them before making the commitment? If you have no ulterior motives and you aren't trying to circumvent something, then you should not fear dissension.
Too many times in my life I have been on the outside looking in. Yes, I will admit that I have been a keeper of secrets quite a few times, so I can say that it feels much better to be a secret-keeper than to be the one in the dark. After all, what does it say to the person kept out of the loop.... that they can't be trusted? That their opinion is not wanted or isn't important? Or more likely, that their opinion would be a roadblock or a hindrance. When I have years of experience with something, I often find myself playing devil's advocate. I have this annoying habit of raining on peoples' parades by reminding them of past mistakes and expressing my desire not to repeat them. This is a quality that is not always prized by everyone... I realize that. Since I don't see myself changing anytime soon, I guess I will have to learn to live with the disappointment of rarely being in on the ground floor of much of anything.
"Secret" is an ugly word. Better words would be "Plans" or "Something in the Works". These words are so much more positive and can be attributed to true acts of altruism - surprise parties, for example. In the end, only the initiating person really knows the difference. And in the end, that difference means everything.
These words represent the prattling of someone who has been awake for 18 hours and who found something out this evening in what I feel to be a most unfortunate manner. I felt blindsided, frankly. I will admit that I don't know all of the facts, so it may be entirely premature for me to be venting in this fashion... but, one does what one must to try to clear the brain and steal some sleep.