By Reflectives

The masks we wear..

Things today have made me ponder on the disguises we like to create for ourselves to others. How we're perceived by our peers or others to whom we crave respect occupies our minds so much, that any dent in that cultivated image makes us worry that we will be seen as weak or foolish.

Presenting our innermost feelings to the outside world makes us especially wary; to show vulnerability as a human being is a sign of weakness in the modern world.

So what do we do? We seek out that small group of people to whom we feel we can be honest - and we put our trust in them. Even then, we hold back, we give them just enough of ourselves to make them feel they know us. We always wear a mask....

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

- Paul Laurence Dunbar

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