The truth will set you free
There is nothing wrong with having a few little secrets, unless of course someone is being hurt by your actions (top 10 most common secrets). You might secretly love Broadway tunes, which is a small secret in the grand scheme of things, but if you know, for example, that a friend is being cheated on, that secret can end up being painful if it doesn’t get out (how to relieve the stress of a burning secret). It has often been said that the truth will set you free, which is a theme that is very prevalent in Hollywood movies. I could sit here and list hundreds of movies where one of the main characters is holding onto a secret that we all know will eventually get out (secrets that should really be confessed). It’s a common story theme, and is one that would likely get old of it weren’t for the creative ways that writers make it happen in the movies.
I’m sure you all have your favorite movie moments where a big secret is revealed, but my favorite comes during the movie, “A Few Good Men.” If you haven’t seen it, and I really suggest that you do, theory revolves around the trial of a pair of soldiers who are charged with killing another soldier in their group. We as the audience are all in on the fact that, while they may have been responsible for the death, they were only following orders passed down from a commanding officer.
The true greatness of the movie comes in the way in which the lawyers have to get all the men at the top to divulge the secrets of how the soldier really died. Everyone remains closed-lipped, virtually sealing the fates of the two soldiers who are standing trial for the murder. The movie runs along at a brisk pace, leaving you wondering how the truth is ever going to get out before the credits start rolling and you have to go dump the remains of your popcorn. When it does get revealed, it’s done in a way that leaves you a little breathless.
The actors in the movie, particularly Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise, who face off in the big scene near the end, make the ending brilliant, but there is also a little pause for thought for the average person. Imagine that you are keeping a particularly juicy secret, either for yourself or for a friend or family member. Do you have any idea what it would have to take for someone to get that secret out of you? Do you think you could be questioned to the point where you finally snap and tell the truth, or would it depend on who was doing the questioning?
Secrets can be heavy and feel like a lead weight pulling down on your soul, with the end result often being simply feeling as though you need to tell the truth to ease your burden. That type of weight usually comes with a secret that is particularly deep and dark, and which can be harmful to others. In the movie, the secret didn’t eventually come out because the character felt anything for the accused men, but rather because the lawyer doing the question used the man’s own arrogance and misguided sense of duty to trip him up.
I think many of us hold on to particularly destructive secrets out of that same sense of loyalty or duty. If a friend of family member tells us something in confidence, there is a definite feeling that you have to keep that secret close, whatever the cost. What you have to decide is whether or not the actions that come as a part of your guarding the secret are worth it in the end. It’s a decision that each of us can only make on our own, and it may very well speak to your true nature when you hold onto something secret, even when it means pain and suffering for others.