I have a trait that seems to be a serious failing...but when I think about it, I really like it: I really suck at being a fake friend on any level. If I like you, I like you all the time, not just to your face, and not just in secret. I have had more than a few friends over the years that insist that I be less than myself in public when around them. That grates.
I don't do the whole "secret friend" thing. If you're going to be my friend....then be my friend, and have the guts to deal with the consequences. If not, DON'T be my friend! It will be less stressful for everyone! I like having friends, a lot. But I hate lying. I hate helping other people lie. Please don't make me do it. I understand that everyone has secrets, shameful or otherwise. I'm not asking people to hang out their dirty laundry for all to see. But if you are embarrassed or ashamed to be seen with me, around me, talking to me, hugging me, etc., then it's probably not gonna work out!
Next is a tangent (sort of), that has arisen from knowing SO MANY people who have big, big things to hide.
Dear Parents (and future parents), please hear this loud and clear: if your child does not believe that they can come to you with anything - and I mean anything, whether it's a son who is gay, a daughter who is pregnant, a child who has done drugs, a kid who's stolen something - if they don't believe that you will still love them no matter what, then you are teaching your child to lie to you. All kids lie to their parents, but hopefully the parents teach them better. This is how we fail at teaching them better! Kids should never be afraid or doubtful that their families will reject them. Before we rail against gay marriage, teen pregnancy, drugs, or anything else destroying the family, let's look at the foundation of that destruction: fear and judgment in the home! I know you are afraid your child might ruin his life; don't help him do it! LOVE HIM! Whatever mistakes she has made, her life still goes on, and can get better, if you LOVE HER! It's so so so easy! And yet it is the parents who fail to let their children know they love them, and cultivate the type of human beings that LIE to their parents about their relationships.
All we need, folks, is love. Just listen to the Beatles. Read the scriptures. Study the great men and women of history. Pay attention to the urgings of your conscience. Just love. Love. It's the solution to every problem. That's all we need.