November 11, 2007

I picked up this notebook to continue with my journal today.  It is an old notebook, one I had previously used for a backcountry camping class that required me to keep a journal as well.  As I flipped through it, I came across a page that had a note written on it, from a classmate in my backcountry camping class.  It was not a love note.  It was not a “hey, how are you” note.  It was an opinion of some of my personal journal writings from that class, that were also contained within.  Now, I feel that there are things you make public and things you make private.  Those things you make private, you do so for a reason.  Whether you are simply releasing thoughts, sharing intimate secrets, or admitting a crime, there is a reason why they are privately kept.  The fact that this person went through my personal journal without my knowledge or consent really made me mad.  I felt that it was a huge violation of my privacy, and a huge lack of respect for my personal privacy and property.  I immediately put down the journal, because my train of thought had instantly been broken.  Now, I figured that this would be a passing moment for me, and that I would soon get back to writing in my journal.  It really surprised me, though, as to how much it affected me.  There was nothing remotely private, embarrassing, or revealing about my journal entries.  They were actually pretty banal and harmless, considering.  It wasn’t really so much an issue of what was in there for him to read, though, it was simply the principle of the matter.  The principle being that you do not violate a person’s trust, nor do you violate their privacy without consent.  We are not talking about true crime here, but just think about what the world would be like if everyone felt the right to tread around and take what they wished.  If there was no right to privacy.  If we were held to that extreme, would free thought exist?  When small things like this happen to me, I usually tend to let them go.  However, I always get into the thought of these “small things” on a potentially larger scale, and wonder if people really give a thought to what their actions may cause.  I remember this guy in my class.  He was not a mean person.  He was not evil.  He probably meant no harm in this, but clearly he didn’t think about the repercussions of his actions.  You should always have a basic sense of respect for those around you, and I feel that, in our times and society today, we are rapidly losing this basic sense for each other.  We seem to be at a crux right now, to where we really need to change the way we act toward each other, or fall just far enough to where it may be too late to change our paths.  This may seem like a small example, and may even more so seem like a great exaggeration, or an overreaction.  I don’t think it is, though.  I don’t think people should put up with a certain amount of bad behavior, for fear of appearing to be a little too dramatic.  I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to react to every wrongdoing, regardless of how small it is.  For me, I choose to vent in this journal, as I have no other recourse.  It’s a step, though.   

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