Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Is it ever appropriate to keep a secret from a friend?
As the title may suggest, "Pretty Little Liars" is full of secrets and lies. Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer all keep secrets from each other, their parents, and their other friends. Ali was their ringleader and the champion secret keeper. She figured out everyone's secrets and then held them over the girl's heads. Although her disappearance was a horrible experience for the four other girls, they also found some relief in their secrets being buried with her.
We have all heard the saying, "Honesty is the best policy," but do we always follow it? Some people may not lie to their friends, but they may also not be completely honest. Keeping secrets could simply be lying by omission.
You know, sometimes it is okay to keep secrets. We don't need to know everything about everyone. People have their right to a certain amount of privacy. In "Pretty Little Liars," Emily is struggling with her sexuality. Even though her friends could probably have helped her with this or even just supported her, she wasn't obligated to tell anyone. This is a kind of secret that no one can push you to tell. Emily has the right to fill people in on such a personal detail at her own pace.
Keeping secrets can get out of hand when the secret could potentially hurt someone. For instance, in "Pretty Little Liars," Hanna has an eating disorder. She was obviously keeping this a secret, but other people were keeping it a secret for her as well. It may have been tough, and Hanna may have hated them for it, but her friends should have told someone. They could have gotten Hanna the help she needed from her parents, a counselor, or someone equally as qualified.
Another example from "Pretty Little Liars" has to do with 'The Jenna Thing.' I don't want to spoil it too much for those of you who haven't seen the show, but the girls do something which they refer to as 'The Jenna Thing' which results in Jenna's step-brother, Toby, being sent away. If the girls would have revealed their secret, Toby would not have taken the blame. Sure, they probably would have gotten in some trouble, but not as much trouble as Toby.
The opposite of these examples is when you keep a secret to prevent someone from being hurt. This one is a little bit tricker to figure out. The secret could be something as small as not telling a friend that you dislike her shirt because it would hurt her feelings. People tell these kinds of lies all of the time. It gets a little more confusing when the secret is something that would hurt someone, but they should probably know anyway. When Aria discovers her father cheating on her mother, she doesn't tell her mother because it would hurt her and her father asked her not to. Even though this secret would hurt Aria's mother (and also her father), Aria's mother should know this.
Ah, secrets. Secrets. Here is a preview for Season 1 of "Pretty Little Liars" if you haven't seen the show yet.