Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Art of Keeping Secrets

My mother-in-law lived in my house for about 2 years before she died. She had trouble walking, and she would spend her days moving between her bed and my favourite seat in front of the TV, which very quickly became her throne when she moved in. She had an amazing stamina watching TV at least a few hours a day.

As you all probably already know, the shows on Astro would be repeated over and over again throughout the day, and quite often over a period of several weeks. I don't normally spend a lot of time watching TV though, and I would rarely find myself in front of the TV. But sometimes, I would be in the mood to watch old movies which I've missed watching in the cinema.

The only problem was that my mother-in-law had an incurable disease that made her unable to control herself from telling me what's going to happen next in the movie. Even though I told her countless of times not to tell, that could only make her stop for a few minutes. After that she would lose her control again. I'm not sure if it's just a habit or a kind of weakness of the mind. Sometimes, people are born with some sort of inclination, and it would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Such was the case with my mother-in-law as far as having no control of spoiling movies for others.

What I've noticed about people in general is that the vast majority of them can't control themselves from sharing the information that they have, though admittedly perhaps they're not as hopeless as my mother-in-law. Of course then again my mother-in-law was an extreme case, and perhaps not a suitable comparison. 

Especially if it is an important secret—an important information that is absolutely critical not to be shared with others—they would want to share that knowledge even more. The itch to tell, I'd imagine, is overwhelming. And even if they don't tell directly, they'd at least do it indirectly by dropping hints or speak like Jesus, in parables.

That's essentially why for the last several days, whenever I'm on facebook, I would shut my mind from the many, many posts about The Avengers: Endgame. I would simply ignore those posts and moved on to the rest of facebook. Except for a very few of those posts, the majority just couldn't control themselves from dropping hints about the storyline. For the most part, I did not entertain those posts until I have seen the movie myself recently. And only after I'd seen the movie had I revisited the posts on facebook. True enough, what I had known all along about most people is indeed true—they can't control themselves!

Keeping secrets is an art. In fact, it's a skill that very few possess. Most people would be itching to tell others, especially if they're told "not to tell"! It's a skill that some people will never acquire. Not everybody can do it. It takes a very strong, disciplined and patient person to master the art of keeping secrets.

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