This morning as I was driving to work, NPR was playing an interview with an author and poet, though I don’t remember his name. He was discussing his work and views on many subjects. He kept referring to two upcoming “secret” projects, books he wanted to write. A few minutes later he mentioned a booklet he had written which would be published soon. The interviewer asked if that one was of the secret projects, and his answer got me thinking. He replied along the lines of, “That’s not a secret. It’s already been done. It doesn’t matter if people find out about it. The only secrets I ever have are ideas that I have because I’m not sure how they will turn out.”
Though some people need to vocalize plans in order to build up enough accountability to move forward, it’s ok to keep plans to yourself, because until you do something about them, you’re still dealing with an nonexistent action. However… Things that you have done already are public, discoverable, existent. I live in a world of public relations, and in theory should have this engrained in me. However, in the non-profit sector, and specifically in a religious context, people are very hesitant to “boast” of their own works. No one wants to be the person who builds him/herself up. So often we think that plans are ok to talk about, because they’re just ideas, and we want people to get excited about them. But when it’s actually done, we should keep that a secret because we wouldn’t want to brag. Logically we may understand the importance of sharing the great work that is being done, but practically, we have a lot more to grow.