I find this to be a very important topic, since it was written into our United States Constitution in the first place. There was a reason for that as I will try to explain below. I will use myself and my practice of that right on a daily basis. I will also give my opinions as to why it is so important that we exercise that right, and not feel intimidated by anyone that would say otherwise for any reason.
I was just recently confronted with a question as to why I use a fictitious name, and why should I have to use it if I have nothing to hide. The simple answer is my right to privacy, and common sense.
If you recall, our Constitution, specifically, our Bill of Rights covers this very well. You know, that piece of paper that so many have died trying to preserve. I actually believe in it. I think it was filled with some very good advice, written by some very wise men of very differing opinions.
Just like our founders knew that a private ballot was necessary to prevent intimidation at the ballot box, we also have to expect that the 1st amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”; And the 4th amendment, " The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” That covers it pretty well, so that we can express our opinions, have our right to privacy, have Constitutional protections, and not have to endure any persecution for having those opinions and rights too. At least that is the way it is supposed to be.
First and foremost, the very thought of having to be confronted and told that we have to supply our name, address, and every other personal thing about ourselves seems to be against all that the Constitution stands for. In the America that I grew up in, these things meant more than just words to me. They were something that represented honor and integrity in government too. It also applies in all aspects of my personal life too. Besides my bible, I think that the Constitution is my personal guide in how I should handle my life and, how I need to respect others too.
The simple fact that I could travel and not be hindered in any way was what made America a great nation, which many other nations have looked at and saw the power it gave to the individual. It acknowledged and upheld the person’s unalienable rights, given by their creator, not by any man.
Hence, the reason that so many that have experienced tyranny, have fled to the United States to escape the persecution, and to restore their right to have a life without having to answer to someone requiring them to carry papers to prove who they are and, to get permission to speak freely no matter what the content of their speech, as long as it was not something that subverts our Constitution or, speaks to incite violence or malice towards any other person.
Having said that, I will say that in this world that we live, there are very few things that aren’t known about each of us, packed away in some file with all our information in public, as well as private databases. Whether it is the car I drive, the house I own, or my buying habits, These things are used to know everything that can be known about me whether I like it or not.
A lot of the information that is obtained is really not something that matters in the sense that it is frivolous information in the first place. But it does tell what kind of a person I am to anyone that is looking for particular data that can be used to help whatever cause they have whether it is political, criminal, or, just to see what kind of soap I like to buy.
This brings me back to the original intent of this article. It is my way of saying that what few things that I want and can keep private, I still have a right to do. And I will never apologize for wanting to have my privacy to anyone.
In regards to any person of reasonable intelligence, that would not be something that is unreasonable in asking. It is also my way of saying, I read my Constitution, and I know all too well, that those that say I must have something to hide by using a fictitious name, are completely missing the point here. If I want someone to know about me, I supply them with all they need to know me. Whether I use my real name or not, matters not, and in my opinion, it is irrelevant. My actions speak louder than any words I can ever say anyway.
In this world that we live, there are people that I would not care to be close to because they would or could be a detriment to my life in some way or another. They could care less about anything I care about, and only have their own interests in mind. I respect that, while at the same time I pity them for their waste of useful resources in a negative way. Those are the people that I really don’t want to make it easy to find out about who I really am. Not only that, are they someone I want to associate with? I think not.
Besides, we all know the old saying from back in WWII on the posters that would say, “Loose Lips, Sink Ships”. It makes sense when thinking about how some people will think nothing about my concerns, and only see things to benefit themselves, while wearing blinders to the real truth. Are those the people that I want to have in my circle of friends?
In my time, I have learned enough to know when it is time to keep my mouth shut and, what I should or, should not say for the simple reason that sometimes I can be my own worst enemy in that regard. Especially if what we say is taken out of context or, misinterpreted.
On a personal note, when I am establishing any relationship, my first rule is I “respect the privacy” of those that I wish to become friends with. I think it is always best to be completely honest and never lie, unless my life depended on it. The reason I say this is simple. I myself, cannot remember everything anyway, So in my opinion, it is always best to stick with the truth, because I have less chances of forgetting that than making up a lie that I know from personal experience, I will probably get caught up in after close examination.The other side of the coin is how much information I do divulge to anybody I don’t know very well. My advice to this is, VERY LITTLE!
First off, it is not a lie to not spill my life story to someone that I just met. Secondly, I need to test the waters to see if they are someone that I can trust. If they get all upset because I don’t tell them everything about myself, then my thought is that they are probably someone that I should not trust to begin with anyway, and just walk away without even arguing with them.
They might even say, they are telling me all sorts of things about themselves, why shouldn’t I? For the simple reason, how do I know who they really are? All the things that they say could be a lie. I wouldn’t know that until I have time to check them out and listen carefully to what they say and do. Besides, I would be suspicious of anyone that starts sharing their life story to me without even knowing me in the first place. They can’t be very intelligent in my opinion or, they aren’t using good judgment skills.
I’m not saying that we should live our lives in paranoia. I am just saying that we should use common sense. I have a rule for trust and it works pretty well for me so far, “if I stick to it”. It is this. I trust my GOD first, family second, and all others are a very distant third.
I apply that rule to ALL relationships. If someone wants to be my friend; they need to give it time. I want to like everyone, but I also want to protect my privacy too. Until I can know that they are someone that I can trust, possibly with my life, or the lives of those dearest to me. You don’t have to believe me, but I challenge anyone to using that as a test and they will see if I am right or wrong.
If anyone can’t accept me the way I am and, with the way I do things, that’s their problem. I live with myself 24/7 and I don’t have to please everyone. That’s just the way I roll.
So when I think about relationships and my privacy, I always test the waters first. I personally have learned that the hard way too.
Some may say that isn’t being real; I would disagree with them. I would say that it is a trust thing. And I think that people need to earn my trust. Spilling my guts to someone I don’t really know is obviously not a smart thing in my opinion. Even if I want to get to know them because they seem like great people, I have to be cautious. If they really value the relationship there should be no time frame in establishing it either. We have all had people that seemed really nice, only to find that they weren’t when the chips were down.
If anyone ever says that I am afraid because I won’t tell them my life story, I never fall for that one. It has nothing to do with being afraid; it has to do with being smart and remembering that my privacy is my right. I only hope that they understand that. If not, I say, have a great life and, I wish them the best. I always remember to try to respect others at all times.
It’s all about me practicing my right to privacy under the Constitution and, using common sense.