In the world we live in it is expected to present yourself in a mask. You can wear any kind of mask material, a face, a pattern, a superhero and no one would question it. Currently, it is a form of fashion accessory for many and an element of oppression for others. Culturally used for centuries as a way of hiding an identity in a party setting, alas that frivolity is no longer appropriate today.
This shift in the modern climate has made me wonder about all the ‘masks’ that we wear in our normal lives. My adult life has been dedicated to helping others, mainly through the medium of teaching. Every teacher wears the professional mask; the actor, the subconscious thespian creating a stage from which to impart knowledge and shape nubile minds.
The most common mask that I, and everyone wears is the, “I am OK,” smoke screen. It is often our first line of defence. Those who know us well will often question the validity of such a statement and make a judgement call as to whether to probe further. Others will take us at ‘face-mask’ value and avoid any discomfort. The world seems to be living the latter as its reality. There is so much left unsaid; so many responses to how we feel left hidden. Putting your head above the parapet to state a view can leave us open to ridicule from the opposition, therefore, just like the mask, we keep muffled; our voices unheard. It is the antithesis of what we should be doing right now.
Silence doesn’t help our mental health. It is crucial now that everyone is able to say their truth, to seek a listening ear or a supportive ‘shoulder’. For those who would not normally have the courage to tell their worries, I implore you to use the mask, to be the actor, to speak via its cloak. There is no shame in admitting all is not well. There is no shame in being scared of your destiny. There is no shame in seeking help. One positive 2020 has given us, is the emergence of community, of support groups and compassion. If you meet a teacheresque ‘mask’ and you have that gut feeling that all is not as it seems, please be a journalist; the right words are powerful and could make the difference between seeing brightness in a future or the same dark dawn.
“We all wear masks and, the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” Andre Berthiaume
In the words of The Masked Singer, “ Who are you? Who’s there behind the mask?”
Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY