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Respecting others’ right to privacy

Many people that are very careful in respecting other people’s property or opinion sometimes fail to respect one even more important thing, which is another…

Many people that are very careful in respecting other people’s property or opinion sometimes fail to respect one even more important thing, which is another person’s privacy. Most times, people think that being close friends does not require having any barrier. They fail to realise that closeness in theory means revealing oneself totally, but it does not work that way in reality. It is true that we want to share more of ourselves with those close to us than with others who are not, but there is still a part of us that we naturally want to keep to ourselves. If these borders are not respected, a person will begin to feel invaded and pull away causing the friendship to weaken.

To many, privacy is their most valued possession. Privacy is the breathing space to let each of us to develop into our own unique selves. It gives us time to reflect on the most important issues in our lives and build close personal relationships with those with whom we choose to be close. To ‘steal’ this from someone is to withhold one of life’s most basic and essential freedoms. The right to privacy refers to your right to be left alone. There are several different ways a person’s right to privacy can be invaded. When we respect someone’s privacy and do not go crashing in to where we do not belong, we show the other person that we respect his right to truly be himself and only share with us that which he feels comfortable.

How important is privacy?  Privacy is very important; it is as important as respecting other people’s opinions. It works in two ways as a big part of respecting people is also respecting their privacy. Privacy is an important value that deserves respect. “People who invade other people’s privacy are those that have fidgety and unsettled minds as they are insecure and only looking for a way to find a fault in the lives of those that they feel are better off and more successful than they are. If not, tell me, why would anyone want to know every bit of what is going on in my life? Is she my guardian angel? If she is, God would not have created her as a human being,” says Mesa Yusuf.

Everyone should be entitled to a private life. We should not listen in on people’s private conversations or read their private letters as most have found pleasure in reading other people’s text messages. If we find out something private about them, we should not repeat it to others. We should not touch their property without permission. “I once had a friend that took pleasure in invading other people’s privacy and felt that whatever the complaints the affected person gave were not justified.

“But after he had the experience of thinking that someone had invaded his privacy and the relief of knowing that no one had, he realised that respecting people’s privacy was an important and worthwhile value,” explained Vincent Mark. “Most times, people feel that there is something fishy about the person and try to invade the person’s privacy discreetly, but it still does not give one the right to invade their privacy.

“In my opinion, such people only have shallow minds and instead of trying to enhance their lives, they are busy revolving around issues that are of no business to them. And do not be surprised that such people have more horrible issues in their closet that they protect very well. For me, I do not allow such people to bother me or even get close as I believe that “shallow minds discuss people and try to bring them down while great minds discuss ideas and issues.” And I have learned to make that my watchword,” says Mercy Anuilika Okechukwu.

It is important that we respect other people’s privacy if we want ours to be respected as failing to respect other people’s privacy is not just bad manners but could cost you much more than what you bargained for, including the treasured friendship.