Assignment #4: I’ve got a secret

Ivonne Gamboa

I will grade this when you repost it with your name and team number on top.

Thesis statement: Keeping secrets under confidentiality agreements often nurtures growth of lies to protects a person’s violation of solitude and identity.

My senior year of high school, my best friend Sebastian confided in me a secret about his sexual orientation. While Sebastian opened up to me, I felt how anxious and difficult this was for him to say after keeping that part of himself confidential for his entire life. Keeping his secret was not a burden to me, I never felt emotional stress or guilt to disclose with others because I felt like it wasn’t my secret to tell. Above all, I was protecting Sebastian. As explained by Professor Blevens, I protected Sebastian’s identity against ridicule and intrusion of personal space from fellow peers. Throughout high school, many students always speculated Sebastian was gay and me, being his best friend, I was always the main target for questions. After knowing Sebastian’s truth, I felt the obligation to protect him from student’s attempting to penetrate the secret by diverting the conversation and lying by declining “rumors.” Lying did not make me feel guilty because I had a “prima facie duty” to uphold and Sebastian’s trust was more important than other’s longing for knowing.

Before watching Bleven’s lecture, I never realized the empowerment both parties feel when revealing a secret. I felt empowerment because I was the only person to know this huge secret about someone who would remember this moment for the rest of their lives. I also felt empowerment because, besides Sebastian himself, I was in control over the flow of information, which I would never expose unless told to do so. My responsibility protected his four human elements: his identity, his plans to come out when he decided it was right, his action on how to do it and lastly his property, which in turn is his autonomy or reputation. Sebastian felt empowerment because he felt a weight lifted off his shoulders and comfortable in his own skin with his closest friend. This experience made our relationship stronger because in exchange I opened up to him about my own secrets, which held him responsible for the secrecy of my confessions and we created a closer bond because of it.

After two years, Sebastian was finally able to come out his sophomore year of college to his family during a holiday gathering and his friends through social media. Many people started to ask me if I knew and remembered how I dismissed or at times lied on behalf of him. It didn’t make me feel any different about keeping the secret because it allowed Sebastian to find his true identity and expose himself when he was comfortable enough to do so. There was times where I felt an urge to say something in the moment to free him of constant badgering but I always felt an obligation to remain loyal and put his emotions and trust above all else. In the end, we see the links between secrecy that protects lies and secrecy that nurtures growth of lies. It’s very difficult to keep a confidentiality agreement without the use of either when protecting from outsiders attempting to penetrate insider information. Very well done. A great example and application of concepts from class. Glad you were able to support your friend the way he needed you to at the time and glad he was able to feel comfortable later, too.

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Secrecy Assignment Hailey Brun Team 17

I will grade this when you repost it with your name and team number on top.

All of us at one point of our lives have been put into a situation where we must lie to protect a secret or someone with a secret. This information that we know and cannot tell another person can make us break our morals. I have experienced this a couple times in my life and it has shown me how secrecy and lying interrelate.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, I had just come home from school when I read a distant whimper from upstairs. I walked upstairs to find my sister crying on her bedroom floor. About an hour later I had learned that she had gotten three detention slips for the next three weeks and that our mother had to sign them. She was scared and so I told her I would sign the slips and not tell my mother of the incident. In that moment lying and secrecy are intertwined. I had told my mother that she was staying after school to complete tutoring so she wouldn’t be suspicious of her coming late.

This experience did empower me a lot because I had power over my sister with this secret that I promised to keep. I couldn’t tell my mom, or my sister would get in trouble. As an analyzed this situation from the past I can know see that this lie made anything I said less credible. This is because the information from the source already has a rep for lying could very well just lie again. For example, I thought I a lot about if my mom found out, I would be less credible to her because I had already lied first. This made me think a lot about lies, and that maybe helping my sister wasn’t worth the after effects.

To complicate the matter further, my sister told my other younger sister about the situation as well. However, my other sister used it to her advantage and wanted to breach confidentiality. She wanted to expose the secret for her own gain. This made me feel like I had to stop her from saying anything to my mom for my own benefit. I had to lie again in order for other sister not to tell the secret. I felt like one lie turned into another and I needed to tell more lies in order for no one to find out that I covered for my sister.

Looking back at the experience, I can clearly understand how lies and secrecy in interrelate. That just one lie or one more secret can make someone dig a deeper hole for themselves. In the end, my mother did find out about what happened and it did make me less credible. This has taught me how strong the power of information can be and how information had hold someone to their fate. Overall, lies and secrecy are seen a lot today in people with the  most high and powerful positions in the world. Very good job. You were able to analyze the layers and unfold them in an organized essay.