When John was a teenager, in the school holidays, around Christmas, he used to spend time in the Country with his Grandmother, his mother’s mum, who lived on her own there, after the death of her husband, who had died of a heart attack, many years ago.
After a busy school year, John would spend some time relaxing, and breathing in the country air there. He also cut the grass, vacuumed the house, and did some other odd jobs around the property for his old grandmother too.
It was now the final year of John’s secondary schooling. He was again spending the holiday period at his Grandma’s house.
One day in January then, John had a call from his mother, from his hometown, many miles away.
John’s mother had opened the letter that had arrived in the letterbox that morning, that contained the results of John’s final exams.
She seemed pleased and happy, even excited, when she started to tell John of his results, sure that John would be anxious about them, and very pleased to hear them.
John was a different sort of a boy though. He stopped his mother, before she had even started.
“You had no right opening my mail. That’s addressed to me. I do not want to know the results. I will find out when I get back home.”
and he angrily hung up the phone then, on his own mother.
For all of his long life, John regretted how he had treated his mother that day.
When his mother was sick and was dying, with only weeks to live, John visited her, and he asked her then to forgive him for that harsh treatment of her at that time.
His mother, ever gracious, even while lying on her death bed, said to John,
“I have long forgotten that John. I love you, and always have. Of course, I forgave you for talking to me like that, on the very day that it happened. Us, mother’s are like that, you know.”
( The photo of her was taken a few years before she died.)
John was now in his seventies.
John’s older brother, had a son, who like to travel abroad. At thirty-something already, he was still living with his father, who lived alone otherwise, as his wife had long ago left him, for another much richer man.
Alan, Clive’s (John’s brother’s) son, was a bit like John. He immensely valued his own privacy.
He had blocked his father from having access to his Facebook account on the internet.
“Father’s and sons do not mix in these things,” he had told his father.
Alan was overseas in an isolated place in Africa. He hardly thought of contacting his worried father at all. Months passed, without his father hearing a word from him.
Funnily enough though, Alan liked his Uncle John, and he had allowed John access to his Facebook pages.
Now, Clive asked John, to send him some photos of his son in Africa, that Alan had posted on Facebook, so that he might at least see something of his only son’s holiday there.
John did this.
But then John’s wife told him off.
“You should not be sharing stuff like that with your brother, because his son doesn’t want his father to see that”, she said to John.
John then realised that he had breached a privacy here too, and he was very upset with himself for having done so. John could have just told his brother that his son was ok, as he had seen some news of him through his Facebook postings.
We live in difficult times regarding such things, and such ethical dilemmas.
What do you think about all, or any of this type of an ethical dilemma?
John still wasn’t sure here, what should be stronger, love, or privacy and ethics?
He went down and sat on his favourite seat at the beach to think this more over, and over more.
What should be stronger love, or privacy considerations?Love lives through all instances of its reach, even in breaches, but privacy is a separation of love into each person, and it needs to be respected too.
Love joins together such breaches, but only when asked. Love does not enter uninvited, or bully anyone into doing anything itself.
Look through the lens of love, to see if there really is a breach, of its reach, or if it is more, a reaching into the breach, of love, by love.
The photos used here were freely sourced from the free media site: pexels.com