Date: Friday, January 22nd 2016
Participants (from 10 countries):
Pakistan: Usaid, Ayisha | Bangladesh: Mohiuddin, Azamu | Tunisia: Marwa | Argentina: Johny | Iran: Rojhano, Behnam, Noorola, Taregh | Indonesia: Tibi | USA: Rick | Malaysia: Faten | Sudan: Seif | Iraq: Shakhawan
Host: Rick (USA)
Panel PRO (Team A): Ayisha, Rojhano, Noorola
Panel CON (Team B): Faten, Marwa, Taregh, Azamu
Audience (Team C): Seif, Behnam, Usaid, Johny, Tibi, Mohiuddin, Shakhawan.
Team A summary:
- We as individuals need others in order to move on in the society thus we shall not keep secrets because keeping secrets means that there is an issue when it comes to trust. Not trusting others prevents us from maintaing a successful relationship with one another.
- Keeping secretes from them is equal to cheating on them.
- In order to have a stronger bond with our loved ones, we need to trust them, and trusting them means sharing our secrets with them.
- When there is a genuine love between two people, then there should not be anything hidden between the two.
- If our secret is about a problem we have, then perhaps sharing that secret would help us solve that problem.
- Some people feel that by keeping secrets from their loved ones, their loved ones will also keep their own secrets. This could generate a mutual feeling of distrust.
- A successful relationship relies on trust: we cannot truly trust someone if we don’t know everything about that person.
- Keeping secrets could be a dangerous option in terms of trusting your future with the person you love. For example, if one party has a serious illness and wants it to keep it secret, when the moment of revealing comes, it might be too late and the person left behind may suffer a lot. It will certainly be better if he/she knew about that illness long before so he/she can know whether to carry on with that person or accept it and prepare for the worst.
Team B summary:
- It depends on the situation: there is one case where one person kept a long and meaningful friendship with an old person suffering from dementia and Alzheimer, had to answer every day when the ill person asked her about her siblings who already died years ago. The ill person cried and had to accept their death every day because she simply suffered from memory lost. This meant that person was unnecessarily suffering from something which could have been avoided by just keeping her siblings’ death as secret, so she wouldn’t suffer every day for her loss.
- Another case is when a mother had a car accident and was very weak both emotionally and physically. The doctors decided to keep from her that her children had died in the accident because she was too weak to deal with such a big loss at that time.
- If we don’t say “everything” to our loved ones it doesn’t mean we do not love him/her.
- There is no need to share secrets of our past because we may get judged unnecessarily. Some things are not meant to be shared.
- If we share everything in every opportunity we have, especially when it comes to getting to know someone, we come across as boring and over talkative. We come across as someone who shares things which we aren't even asked about.
- Each person has his/her own things which we do not want to share with others. Real love is about other things, not whether we share our secrets or not. Moreover, some people can even use our secrets against us when there is some fight or arguments.
- Each person has his/her own personal rules and impose his/her own limits. Even among relatives and loved ones, there are limits which shall not be crossed.
- In order to have a better relationship, (whatever it is), these limits should be respected. Each one of us build our personalities around our values (such as privacy) and in the way we approach people; this can be accomplished without having to reveal everything about us.
Before moving to team C, the Host gave both teams A and B opportunity to ask questions to each other.
Questions from team A:
- Noorola: “Why would you keep secrets from your lover?”
Marwa’s answer: “To err is human. We all make mistakes and many people can forget and forgive about it but many others judge us and they won’t not let it go bringing it every time an argument happens.”
Azamu built it up by saying that not sharing secrets and keeps the limitations does not mean we do not love the other person. It just means we all have our own privacy which shall be respected.
Questions from team B:
a) “Do you think that your loved one has the right to judge you for what you have done in the past?”
b) “What would you think if after marrying your husband/wife you find out she was keeping a secret about her past?”
Rojhano’s answer: “love means trust: if my husband finds out that I did a mistake in the past which I didn’t share with him, he will not trust me anymore. Love is tied to trust. If we want to have a good life together, we shall give the same level of love and trust. If the person really loves you, it won’t matter the mistake you made in the past; he/she will accept you because that’s what love is all about. And If I find out he keeps secrets from me, I won’t trust him anymore and our relationship will be complicated due to that.”
Marwa’s Rebuttal: “We do not live in a Utopian world. People are not always the way we think they should be. People are judgmental and sometimes it has a lot to do with the country and culture. For instance, there are some men who think once he marries a girl, he own her past, present and future. So they judge women for what they have done in the past pretending that the woman should have a pure past, otherwise, the woman will not be worthy in his eyes. Fortunately, not all men are like that; some men are really open-minded and they really accept the girl for what she is and not for the mistakes she has done in her past.”
Audience summary (Team C):
- Good communication, trust and mutual understanding are the key to a successful relationship. Nonetheless, in order to keep the relationship as peaceful as possible, there are some secrets that should be kept because it will reduce the quarrels and heated arguments.
- In situations where there is an ill person and the doctor has to announce to the family his critical condition, most people decide to keep that information as secret from the ill person in order to alleviate his mind from worries and stress. Given the fact that by knowing the hardship of his condition, it will affect negatively his mind and body. It better is the ill person keeps certain hope which can make his situation bearable.
- It is not always possible to reveal secrets: oftentimes there are things that are not possible to be shared, this is especially true for workers at the government, the army or a top secret agency. Not sharing classified things does not mean we do not trust our wife or husband or whoever it may be. It doesn’t mean we do not trust that person either, it just means that not always is possible to share everything with our loved ones.
- On the contrary, keeping these things secret means we love the person, because there are things that if they know, their lives will be in jeopardy.
- Love not always means trust: Many people fantasy about love and connect it to trust when the real love is that which transcends trust and all the other things in life. Love is something mysterious, uncontrollable and not always understandable.
- When it comes to things that will affect the future with loved one, things must be shared; because it all depends on the level of commitment and the deal you make with him/her.
- Sharing or not sharing secrets, both have negative and positive consequences.
- It depends on the situation: If the situation requires that we share a secret, then it would be better to share it, but if the situation does not require it, then there is no need to share it. For instance, when something is cloudy then it would be better that our loved ones know about it by our own mouth rather than finding it out by a third person. But when everything is going well, there is no need to bring unnecessary and potentially bad moments in the relationship by sharing something that was not necessary to be shared.
- There are secrets which we will be compelled to reveal, but we ought to be smart about it.
- Mohiuddin voted for team B.
- Behnam remained undecided.
- Seif remained undecided.
- Tibi voted for team B.
- Usaid remained undecided.
- Johny voted for team B.
Team B won this debate. Thanks so much for participating in this discussion. Below are the links to listen to it.
For people who did not join the live discussion, feel free to contribute the ideas in the comment blanks below.