Solely In Black and White: The Futility of Disclosure

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Futility of Disclosure

tell truth

What if I was to tell you the following phrase: “I knew a little secret you might be interested in hearing” how would you feel? I imagine that phrase might intrigue some, beguile others, infuriate some of the rest, and just plainly confuse the remainder. Perhaps its the knowledge that secretes are both asset and liability that makes them so alluring... And that’s true without even knowing what I’m talking about!

Information and perhaps knowledge has this tendency to become a commodity; highly sought after and potentially quite important, or invaluable depending on the case and context. Unlike commodities, the metaphysiology of inside knowledge can take on the form of a particle that can be freely traded between parties at will unhindered by physical barriers or resistance. Whilst information has the potential to be insightful and helpful, it also carries the properties of harm and misuse. More importantly and hauntingly, the other side of this perilous double edged sword, information can never truly be retracted, potentially creating indefinite and everlasting misinformation based on the grave consequences of misunderstandings, misuse, or misinterpretation. All of which can lead to the creation of a misanthrope. I’d be misleading if I didn’t say I’m missing the point. Anyways...

Being that it’s Aseres Yemei Teshuva and that I am in the process of reflecting on many aspects of the previous year and many of the event that have transpired, I was pondering one specific topic that keeps revolving in my mind to which I have recently been wondering about – giving shidduch information. Everyone knows that being interrogated in any way, shape, or form in relation to shidduchium can be torturous and/or very difficult. Rightfully so, one should do their due diligence when researching a potential date in order to avoid potentially hurting another human being unnecessarily or wasting anyone’s time, their own included. Granted, some people do prefer to ask some the weirder, bizarre, and difficult lines of questions (and that’s the short list for now… ;-) ), but at some point you’ve got to start wondering about the answers… 

The way I approached this situation, pr thought process, was to look at it from this angle. In retrospect, I don’t think I ever killed a perfectly good shidduch with either information or misinformation. I believe I’ve used diplomacy, political correctness, and plausibility to answer questions and give descriptive answers to the best of my abilities, pending the circumstances. Okay, maybe some ambiguity too when warranted. However, the concern I have is not in the information that I did choose to disclose, but rather in the words that I chose to withhold, because sometimes you really do know something that might be of interest to another person.

Strangely, these types of scenarios come up every so often with varying degrees of severity. In the most recent example I was unsure about one specific detail that related to one of the parties family background. Before reaching a conclusion on the matter I decided to ask a trusted confidant, one my dating and shidduch research gurus, what their take was on the situation. Their response was the polar opposite of mine. I had taken the route of “the information in question under the current circumstances, in all likelihood, shouldn’t potentially affect their relationship or marriage in any way.” To which he sided with the unarguable logical tactic of “if it was you, you would want to know that information regardless of its cause and effects; furthermore, if someone were to withhold information like that from you, you wouldn’t exactly be happy with them.” 

While I am sure your want to know what information the information of the post on information is, I am sorry to inform you that I will and cannot inform you of such. See, wasn’t that informative? (:-) :-P) Regardless of the specifics, I am still vexed by this question; I am really in the wrong for not saying something…? 


  1. sometimes all you can say is simply that you dont know! i had someone ask me info abt a girl i went to sem with, and seeing as it was a fairly large sem i told the inquisitor that i dont know much about her..but i may be able to redirect her to someone who does..that tactic usually seems to work

  2. I’ve debated taking that approach too, but that presents another problem entirely, it’s a blatant lie to say that you don’t know when you really do. That is especially true when the other person is asking you a direct question. I think this post topic would be easier to discuss with a vivid example. Perhaps next week I’ll take another stab it.


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