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Posting our real selves

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Flickr photo by Don Fulano
Flickr photo by Don Fulano

To stand honest before the world both frightens and excites us. Confessing means to be real. Many people think that the church’s call to confess is somehow outdated, weird and strange. Yet, how do ones explain the success of postsecret.com, one of the world’s most visited blogs, which doesn't show any ads. Further, how can the large amount of secrets that people send to the site be explained other need to be honest and safe?

I get up every morning and listen to a 'Ted Talk' or a sermon. It gets my mind going better than coffee, though I still have my morning cup. I have heard some powerful talks and some that miss the punch. Most pump the prime of my mind. I also listen to sermons by Rev. Samuel Wells from Duke Chapel. They seldom disappoint. This morning I heard one by Frank Warren. In 2004, Frank Warren stared a website by passing out addressed postcards to himself with a request to anonymously share secrets they have not told anyone on his blog, postsecret.com. He never hid his purpose of wanting to share these secrets on the internet. Soon he was flooded with secrets wanting to be shared with the world.  The site has been a wild success. Why?

We are all asked to present a social mask, taper our opinions of others, and diminish looking bad in front of others. Take a look at the advice we give to those looking for work: tweak our resumes, put forward our best foot forward, etc. In short, we are told to create a fictional, better persona. The advice can be summed up in one phrase, “Be perfect and don’t show you are human.” Imagine a life where there was little space to be human that is weak, error prone, mean, doubtful and vengeful. We all have these within us, whether we admit or not. Though admitting to our shared humanity has its dangers. Our landscape is full politicians, celebrities and business people ruined by the revelation of a secret. The message is clear, being open can destroy one. The truth known within Christianity and modern psychology is that secrets can fester and multiply without an outlet. Confession, in a safe place, can free the spirit. I believe those that send their bit of humanity to postsecret.com are realizing the secret that Jesus knew. Confessing to a loving presence, to a trustworthy presence can transform and free us to be our better selves, which our resumes already claim we are.

Ernesto Tinajero

About Ernesto Tinajero

Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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