How often do we find ourselves wearing masks? More often than we think, I believe. What? Me? No. Yes. Maybe so?
I think that from time to time we all wear masks and that is not such a bad thing. For instance, should I show the scorn I feel on my face when I find you without your mask? Possibly but possibly not. Is it sometimes okay to “mask” our feelings to avoid unnecessary pain to another? Yes, I think so. But that is not why I undertook todays word discovery.
Once again, I turn to answers.com to see what is lurking there. As always, there is more there than in a traditional dictionary, such as dictionary.com although they are getting more comphrehensive. I’ll just create my own as such, almost mirroring the wordnet answer:
1. conceal – hide under a false appearance
2. actively conceal – to cover
3. overwhelm – as in light a cigarette to cover a fart (ahem, SSh)
4. protection – keep me from getting hurt
Why this word, today? Mostly due to BIL’s condition and response. What would you do if the entire world (as you know it) was able to glance behind the carefully constructed mask that you have held up for a lifetime? Would you be happy? I think that if you answer in the affirmative, then perhaps you have built your mask over such a long period of time as to allow it to attach itself to your flesh. Oh, but of course, I’m an open book, examine me! Well, I promise, I won’t be saying that. And I think that if you examine yourself carefully, you will not either. And the truth is that, although you may pretend otherwise, the whole world (as you know it) for the most part ALREADY sees behind the mask and chooses to allow you to continue to wear it.
Think you are immune to this analysis? Look in the mirror and think again. Ah, yes, I’m the bigjolly, nothing affects me, I laugh life away. Ha. Oh, and you, there in the corner, lurking, thinking that you are fooling the bigjolly by always wearing a smile in public, do you think that the bigjolly can’t see the pain behind the smile? Do you think that the pretense overwhelms the reality? Please, do us all a favor and rip the mask away, if only for a moment. This isn’t a movie, this isn’t a cliche, we CAN handle the truth. Ugly as it may be. Late.
This is an interesting post, but I’m not sure that I understand. Do you think that if someone is truly happy that they must be faking it? If so, do you believe that it is impossible to be truly happy?
Hi, Robert, I do believe that people can be truly happy, in fact, I know that they can because I am. Even when one is truly happy, there are things in our lives that we think need to be concealed. It may be some little habit that our culture casts a wary eye towards or it may be something that is truly harmful to us, either physically or mentally. In each case, we attempt to prevent others from knowing about it.
So now that it is hidden, we tend to build layers upon the mask to keep it hidden, much like putting on extra coats of paint to prevent the substrate from slipping through. Over time, the coats build up so thick that they crack from their own weight, exposing the “put your phrase here” for the whole world (your world) to see. If this crack happens unexpectedly and you are powerless to do anything about it, how do you react to it?
Hmmmm, B2..don’t share all of the family secrets..as in definition 3 of “mask.”