Thursday, February 28, 2008


There was an article in the Q section of last Sunday's Trib (I don't always get to the Sunday paper on Sunday...) about privacy. It spoke of how our technology has brought about the death of privacy. Voicemails, emails, and cameras, oh my! And that it may be keeping us all honest. We're less likely to be naughty if we think someone is watching.

In the book I just finished, (Rise and Shine) Bridget talks about neighbors across the courtyard that she has watched grow up over the years. She never formally meets them, and she isn't peeping on them or anything, she just sees them living their lives as she looks out her kitchen window. Near the end of the book, as she is moving out of her apartment, she bumps into one of them on the street, and they hug her and say they'll miss her; they too had seen her out their window....

Where did we come up with this idea of privacy, anyway? Why do we think we need it? Lars is working on a project for school about Ancient Greece. When I think of the way people have lived over the last 5,000 years, I come to the conclusion that the whole concept of privacy is new. We're all about protecting our personal space, our stuff, our secrets....In Biblical times, don't you suppose everyone knew what everyone else was doing? People lived together. They ate, slept, worked, worshiped, prayed, played, went potty, everything....with everyone else knowing about it.

Today, we get our knickers in a twist about our privacy, and then battle with loneliness and feelings of isolation. We work to develop and nurture a sense of community in our schools, neighborhoods, and churches. We work on being authentic with others....It just all seems like a lot of effort. So, I've decided to never close the curtains on my windows now, and live publicly. HA! Just kidding.

But isn't it interesting how our society has gone to such lengths to create privacy, only to find there really isn't any such thing, anyway?

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