Once you tell a secret, it is not a secret anymore unless you post it anonymously on the blogspot www.postsecret.com.
While I do not care to know what any single stranger wants to post on their daily blog, this site is different for its sheer disclosure of the human condition.
People send in postcards they have altered with a "hope, regret, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, confession, or childhood humiliation."
The secret is supposed to be true and information that the poster has never shared.
The images change every few weeks as the altered postcards are scanned.
Several weeks back a faceless priest wrote on his white collar, "Sometimes it feels more like a noose."
A young man put a picture of his skin-disfigured torso on a card and wrote that no one would ever love him because of his ugly skin.
But, a young woman sent a photo of a similar disfigurement on her shoulder and said she might love him.
Two children, dressed in baseball uniforms, walked away from the field, arm in arm. The caption said something like: this game saved my life.
Controversially, there was also a postcard made in pink, blue and white on which a girl confessed to throwing away a ballot in a Rim Country Middle School election a few years ago.
"You won, but I threw away the ballots because you were so mean. Six years later, the guilt still hasn't set in!"
On the postcards I have seen, identities have not been revealed. Technically, on this postcard, they were not revealed either, as the names were half-covered.
One blogger on the Roundup's Forum was outraged, calling the postcard "a great commentary on the ethics of students," citing "this generation's lack of guilt or remorse," and was concerned for the privacy of the candidates.
Candidates in a democracy have no privacy. Of course, in this case, it is not fair that the ballot-tamperer did not have the guts to fully reveal his or her identity.
But it is also not fair that an entire generation be judged on the basis of this single postcard.
Look for the negative and it will surely find you.
Tracy Fit... went on to become a basketball star and Leesa She... cheered her on.
Both teens graduated Payson High School in recent years as Arizona Scholars.
Clearly, they did not let the loss of a junior high election get the best of them.
Is throwing an election a freedom-hindering act in a democracy? You bet.
Is our ballot-tamperer likely to be in a position to throw another election? My bet would be no.
PostSecret creator, Frank Warren, has published three books so far, immortalizing people's secret hauntings and longings.
Both teens and adults share postcards.
Perhaps the ballot-card is immortalized in one of the books. I doubt I will spend $20 a pop to find out and I cannot picture it being worth someone from another zip code's effort to Google half names.
Besides, I do not believe that is the point of www.postsecret.com.
Log on and form your own opinion.
My dictionary lists the second meaning of secret as something beyond understanding.
I think that the very act of creating a postcard of this sort must be an act of catharsis for the creator.
The site brings human beings together so we can see that our sorrows, our joys, our challenges met, our struggles to survive have meaning; we are not alone and perhaps not so terrifyingly different.
There is a link to www.hopeline. com at the bottom of postsecret.
Call 1(800) SUICIDE [1-800-784-2433] for help, day or night.
I dare you not to have a gut reaction to at least one card on the site and smile at another and think, I can relate to that.
Whenever I see someone looking at a postcard in a store, I will now wonder what their secret might be.
The postman has already picked up mine.