Mailbag

A shared secret does not exist

I refer to Akshita Nanda's article (Ssh… Can You Keep A Secret?, Life, July 5) in which she said that the best-kept secret is one that is shared with someone.

There is no such thing as a shared secret. A secret known by more than one person is no more a secret. She wrote that secrets "grow heavier in silence and solitude and become too heavy to bear alone".

But what about the one to whom you reveal your secret? Would he not find your secret too heavy to bear alone too? Of course you can tell him not to tell your secret to others. So can he.

To quote writer Francois de La Rochefoucauld: "How can we expect somebody else to keep our secret if we cannot keep it ourselves?"

Ee Teck Ee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'A shared secret does not exist'. Print Edition | Subscribe