Privacy And Secrecy


There is a world of difference between privacy and secrecy.  One can ask for privacy and choose it for  one’s life but secrecy is another matter altogether.  It is drawing a cover or placing some barrier between what one does on one side and with explicit orders not to be viewed by the other.

Yet privacy is simply asking for sacred ground around oneself.   And granting it to others should they request it.   Secrecy says it is none of your business what I do and privacy says you know what I do and I ask that you protect me from those gaping stares.

Privacy is when you close the bathroom door and secrecy is when you delete or hide the computer screen when I arrive at the door, so I will not be party to what is going on.  When a discussion cannot be open between partners, whether married or not,  in business or not, then it is secrecy on someone’s part that fails to disclose  heartfelt issues or commonly held issues.  But we know that all secrets eventually will be revealed.  Our characters,  our honor,  trust,  our word rests on these two words, privacy and secrecy, when we are  in a relationship with an other.

Privacy is a courtesy we extend to each other in those matters where our wellness is secured.   We extend this courtesy because we are in a human family.   And that includes everyone,  not only immediate family.   Secrecy is a two edged sword.   It harms not only the other but us too.   Whether it is on a personal level or otherwise, it is not a world I am comfortable with.   It means I need someone to watch my back.  Why would we choose to live in such a world?




Painting by Claudia Hallissey

3 responses to “Privacy And Secrecy”

  1. I remember my grandmother’s letters to me in college saying there is always a witness to whatever I do in secret, and the witness is me, so I will have to live with myself. That was good advice.

  2. e mail from Jane This is a very interesting distinction. I have since learned that not telling everything you know can be so very respectful of another. . . . . .this clarifies it even more! Thank you.

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