Post Secret Event

April 19, 2012 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Last night, M and I went to see Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret, speak on the campus of Cleveland State University. It was an interesting and intense experience.

If you’ve never been to the PostSecret blog before, or checked out the books, you really should. People anonymously mail in their secrets – stuff they’ve never told more than a few people, if anyone at all. Sometimes they’re funny, and other times they’re so deeply emotional. But it’s always a fun experience to visit the site – it’s updated every Sunday morning – and see what secrets other people are holding inside their deepest self.

The event was like reading the blog only a better and richer experience. Mr. Warren was a delightful speaker, and artfully told the story of PostSecret, as well as his own story, while weaving in some of the secrets he has collected over the years. We, the audience, laughed frequently – but were just as frequently shocked into silence.

At the end of the presentation by Mr. Warren, audience members had a chance to share their secrets too. I was surprised – as I usually am – at how open people were. Of course, M and I did not share any secrets in public since I am just not one of those people. I am considering mailing in a secret though. Hmmmm.

Sometimes I’m amazed at how different things affect you. Mr. Warren played a voicemail someone sent him of the last message her grandmother left before passing away. This terrifies me, because my grandmothers are so important to me. I did not know either one of my grandfathers really and get so overwhelmed with emotion thinking of my grandmothers possibly being gone. It’s exhausting and terrifying.

I think the beauty of sharing secrets though is that it connects us to other people – and I think Mr. Warren would agree with that assessment. We’re so isolated in many ways, and have forgotten how to simply be nice to other people. We need to find ways – however small – to connect with others and in that connection show some compassion and empathy and genuine niceness.

In fact, one of my secrets is that I wish we could all just be a little nicer to each other.

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