Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Face of God -- Part 1

I just got a note from Frank Warren announcing the advent of the Post Secret app in September and the encouragement to share it with whomever:

For years I've sat in rooms with comfortable chairs and pillows and tissues so that people would feel some ease when they wanted to pour out the secrets that ate at their souls, and for the ones who were able to bring their secrets to light and gain the clarity to see how to remove the power of the secrets, it's been encouraging. Yet all of this was done while they knew I was in the room with them and more significantly, that they knew we would later run into each other on the street or at the post office, or in the grocery store.

Enter Frank who for six years has placed himself in the room but in a way that allows people to save face -- literally. He started the PostSecret Project in 2005 as an outlet for those who needed to give vent to something or to share a joy (those are few and far between). People may mail him a postcard decorated any way they like, and every Sunday 20 of the cards are posted on the PostSecret blog. Considering the 1,000+ postcards a week that Frank receives, it seems there is a great need for people to bare their souls, and the desire to do this is growing.

Much of it is the need to be absolved, and all of it is the need to be understood. There is almost no greater hell than to go through life misunderstood and feeling condemned and PostSecret gives people the ability to achieve some sort of clarity and absolution if only to know someone else is thinking about their secret. It makes sense when I consider that I've yet to meet but a very small group of people who do not feel this need, and of that minority, they are usually anti-social. Some believe we have created God in various forms to deal with the need. I've wondered a time or two (oh, heck a lot more than a time or two) if some of those people pouring their hearts out in front of me didn't do it just to have me serve as a temporary god for them.

1 comment:

mulubinba said...

Interesting post and I like the idea of the postsecret project. This is a good way of maintaining anonymity and debriefing.

I'll have to give some thought to the concept of creating God to deal with the need to debrief aboout a secret. It depends on which religious background people come from. People are more likely to suffer from guilt and fear of retribution if they have been brought up to belief God is a punitive God - the sin, punishment, redemption cycle. The postsecret project is a "safer" option in some respects as I sense it takes away that fear of judgement by others.

Looking forward to your next post.