If no harm befalls the receiver of said confession, is it wise to reveal? There are bound to be consequences if the information was intentionally withheld: a cheating spouse, a truant child, a lingering medical condition. In each scenario, someone's life may be altered either way.
I discover that a friend is cheating on her spouse, yet remain silent because her intimate life is no concern of mine. I could live without consequence, perhaps until her husband deduces that she's having an extramarital affair and takes upon himself to rectify the situation. How does it end? Will he tail her to the secret rendezvous and wait until they're disrobed, storm in, and beat the guy to a pulp? I'm not my friend's keeper, however, I might feel a tinge of guilt because the situation could've been avoided. My friend's husband is tried and sentenced to prison because of her inability to communicate that they were disconnected, and I sit, head in hands in the back of the courtroom, wondering.
What do I do if I see my youngest brother skipping school during my lunch break from work, as I pull away from the drive-through at the fast food restaurant? Do I pretend not to know him, fearing he'd be more embarrassed by his disapproving oldest brother calling him to task, and do my best to forget? Of course I couldn't forget. But do I call our parents and rat him out, or hope it was first and last time and remain quiet? Fast-forward a few weeks, and he's no longer skipping school, but has started doing things a fifteen year-old should not. He's bowed to peer pressure and started shoplifting to prove he's cool even though he attends class daily. The dreaded phone call. One of the ruffians has implicated him in their string of robberies, and mom calls me, perplexed, tearful: "Where did I go wrong with this child?" Is it my fault that I didn't tell our parents I saw him framed through my windshield in the strip mall parking lot?
I walk in on a relative taking prescription medicine, and think nothing of it until she realizes I'm standing in the kitchen with her and reacts poorly. She swears me to secrecy, stating that it's something simple she can handle, and not to involve any other family members. I'm concerned because of the hereditary illnesses that plague us. Do I take it upon myself to monitor her condition, or trust that she's telling me truth, and leave it to her own devices? In this scenario, my cousin will soon graduate from college, and her energy is split between a fulltime job and evening classes.
CUT TO:INT. GRADUATION CEREMONY - HOUSTON - NIGHT
African American family populating five rows of folded chairs in large auditorium. In what should be a joyous celebration, none of the assembled appear to be of good cheer. Most wear a somber expression, while others are tearful.
What do you think happened? What would you have done differently?