Shared secrets out in the open

 

Shared secrets of this kind is the norm for certain issues, and I assume one reason most people don’t speak about it because others don’t speak about it. Also, many don’t like to have their inconsistencies pointed out and in the open because it means they (or we) would have to do something about it.

The quote is from a previous post.

I think there are a great number of shared secrets in our culture. We know but don’t speak about it because it would rock the boat. We know but, for whatever reason, don’t want to know so we don’t speak about it. Or we would know if we paid attention to it, but since we haven’t yet we don’t have anything to say about it.

If we know but don’t speak about it, it may be for several different reasons. Others don’t so we would go against norms and taboos. We may not want to hurt someone’s feelings. It would put the spotlight on us and make us vulnerable to uncomfortable attention. We may be expected to do something about it.

Here are a few examples of these types of shared secrets:

We accept certain ingroup behavior more readily than similar outgroup behavior.

We give reasons that are not the real reasons for our behavior. (To appear better to ourselves and others, to not hurt ourselves and others.)

We pretend we know when we don’t know. (And that we can’t know anything for sure.)

News in the media is not so much about news as entertainment. They sell a product. It’s not about shedding light on the really important issues in our society and culture. (There are some exceptions, such as The Guardian.)

We pretend it’s ethical to imprison other beings, use them as slaves, eat them etc. We justify doing medical research on them bc they are similar to us while justifying enslaving and eating them because they are different from us.

We pretend it’s ethical or OK (or wise) to not take the interests of future generations, nonhuman beings, ecosystems etc. into consideration in our policies and decisions

Some accept a religion just because they are born into it. Not because it makes more sense than anything else. They do it for social reasons.

Some go into a religion for emotional comfort.

And things I noticed later….

International and national policies are often aimed at lining the pockets of the wealthy.

We pretend that an economic system and ideology (in our time, neoliberalism) aimed at benefiting the wealthy is in the interest of everyone.

None of these are necessarily bad or wrong, but it’s better to be open about it. To admit to ourselves and others what we already know and see the inconsistencies in it. That’s when change can happen.

Is it true we pretend? Yes and no. In many cases, we may know but not know that we know. We need to be reminded or have it pointed out, sometimes by life itself. And I am also very aware that these reflect my own experience of the world and may seem different to others. 

…..
…..
…..

Initial notes……

  • shared secrets out in the open
    • we humans are experts on keeping quiet and shared secrets, and although it’s very understandable (we don’t want to rock the boat etc.) it’s also how unhealthy patterns are perpetuated
    • since I was a child, puzzled by this pattern
      • certain things were obvious and should be talked about (in my view) but was quieted down, a shared secret, a taboo topic
      • some examples
        • people accepting a religion just because they are born into it
        • people going into a religion for emotional comfort
        • “news” not being so much about news as (a) selling a product which (b) is really entertainment (not about news or making the world a better place etc.)
        • and things I noticed later….
        • international and national policies aimed at lining the pockets of the wealthy
        • accept ingroup behavior more than outgroup behavior
        • give reasons that are not the real reasons for our wishes and behavior (to appear better to ourselves and others, to not hurt ourselves and others)
        • pretend we know when we don’t know (and we can’t know anything for sure)
        • pretend it’s ethical to imprison other beings, use them as slaves, eat them etc. (and justify doing medical research on them bc they are similar to us while jutifying enslaving them etc. bc they are different from us)
        • pretend it’s ethical or OK (or wise) to not take the interests of future generations, nonhuman beings, ecosystems etc. into consideration in our policies and decisions
        • pretend that an economic system and ideology (neoliberalism) aimed at benefiting the wealthy is in the interest of everyone
        • ….
      • none of these are necessarily “bad” or “wrong” but it’s better to be open about it, to admit to what we all already know and see the inconsistencies in it since that’s when there is an opportunity for change – and if people don’t want to change, that’s fine but it’s still better to be open about it
      • and is it true people pretend? aren’t they just oblivious to it?
        • perhaps, but most of these are very obvious and we often just choose to ignore them, look another way, pretend we don’t notice or wouldn’t notice if we took a closer look
        • we prefer to follow the norms, not rock the boat, not make waves, not stand out, and by doing so we make ourselves (appear) more blind than we are
        • at the very least, many are aware of these things
      • …..

…..
…..
…..

Initial draft…..

I assume most people are aware of this pattern. My wish is that it would be pointed out more often in the public discourse, including by reporters and politicians. As it is now, it’s mostly kept as a shared and known secret. It it was more out in the open, change could happen because we would see more clearly the inconsistencies in it.

Of course, shared secrets of this kind is the norm for certain issues, and I assume one reason most people don’t speak about it because others don’t speak about it. Also, many don’t like to have their inconsistencies pointed out and in the open because it means they (or we) would have to do something about it.

The quote is from a previous post.  The entry was on how many white people in the US tend to quietly accept violence committed by other white people and rarely act decisively to prevent it (they may act shocked and horrified but that’s about it), while they often react strongly – and sometimes over-react – when out-groups commit similar types of violence.

I think there is a good deal of these types of shared secrets in our culture. We know, and yet we rarely speak about it. It would be uncomfortable because it goes against norms and taboos. It may rock the boat. We may be concerned it would hurt someone. And, as I mentioned above, having inconsistencies out in the open does put some pressure on us to do something about it. Whether it’s telling ourselves it’s OK that it’s inconsistent, or changing something so it’s less or not inconsistent any more.

Here are some examples:

We accept certain ingroup behavior more readily than similar outgroup behavior.

We give reasons that are not the real reasons for our behavior. (To appear better to ourselves and others, to not hurt ourselves and others.)

We pretend we know when we don’t know. (And that we can’t know anything for sure.)

News in the media is not so much about news as entertainment. They sell a product. It’s not about shedding light on the really important issues in our society and culture. (There are some exceptions, such as The Guardian.)

We pretend it’s ethical to imprison other beings, use them as slaves, eat them etc. We justify doing medical research on them bc they are similar to us while justifying enslaving and eating them because they are different from us.

We pretend it’s ethical or OK (or wise) to not take the interests of future generations, nonhuman beings, ecosystems etc. into consideration in our policies and decisions

Some accept a religion just because they are born into it. Not because it makes more sense than anything else. They do it for social reasons.

Some go into a religion for emotional comfort.

And a couple more…..

International and national policies are often aimed at lining the pockets of the wealthy.

We pretend that an economic system and ideology (neoliberalism) aimed at benefiting the wealthy is in the interest of everyone.

None of these are necessarily bad or wrong, but it’s better to be open about it. To admit to ourselves and others what we already know and see the inconsistencies in it. That’s when change can happen.

Is it true we pretend? That we see it but don’t admit to it? It may be that some are just oblivious to it, or don’t see it as very important. But, at least to me, they seem pretty obvious when we take a look at them. I would think most people have been exposed to these, especially in their teenage years (as I was).

….

Shared secrets of this kind is the norm for certain issues, and I assume one reason most people don’t speak about it because others don’t speak about it. Also, many don’t like to have their inconsistencies pointed out and in the open because it means they (or we) would have to do something about it.

The quote is from a previous post.

I think there are a great number of shared secrets in our culture. We know but don’t speak about it because it would rock the boat. We know but, for whatever reason, don’t want to know so we don’t speak about it. Or we would know if we paid attention to it, but since we haven’t yet we don’t have anything to say about it.

If we know but don’t speak about it, it may be for several different reason. Others don’t so we would go against norms and taboos. We may not want to hurt someone’s feelings. It would put the spotlight on us and make us vulnerable to uncomfortable attention. We may be expected to do something about it.

Here are a few examples of these types of shared secrets:

We accept certain ingroup behavior more readily than similar outgroup behavior.

We give reasons that are not the real reasons for our behavior. (To appear better to ourselves and others, to not hurt ourselves and others.)

We pretend we know when we don’t know. (And that we can’t know anything for sure.)

News in the media is not so much about news as entertainment. They sell a product. It’s not about shedding light on the really important issues in our society and culture. (There are some exceptions, such as The Guardian.)

We pretend it’s ethical to imprison other beings, use them as slaves, eat them etc. We justify doing medical research on them bc they are similar to us while justifying enslaving and eating them because they are different from us.

We pretend it’s ethical or OK (or wise) to not take the interests of future generations, nonhuman beings, ecosystems etc. into consideration in our policies and decisions

Some accept a religion just because they are born into it. Not because it makes more sense than anything else. They do it for social reasons.

Some go into a religion for emotional comfort.

and things I noticed later….

International and national policies are often aimed at lining the pockets of the wealthy.

We pretend that an economic system and ideology (in our time, neoliberalism) aimed at benefiting the wealthy is in the interest of everyone.

None of these are necessarily bad or wrong, but it’s better to be open about it. To admit to ourselves and others what we already know and see the inconsistencies in it. That’s when change can happen.

Is it true we pretend? That we see it but don’t admit to it? It may be that some are just oblivious to it, or don’t see it as very important. But, at least to me, they seem pretty obvious when we take a look at them. I would think most people have noticed and been exposed to these, especially in their teenage years (as I was).

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.