“Sometimes it’s not the people who change,
It’s the mask that falls off”
How many of us possess things, enrol in club membership, and attend social functions because only of our own desire and not to seek others' approval?
I am sure your mind is racing now....
The cars we drive, the gowns we like to be dressed in for a party, the hairstyle we want to be complimented for are often from the very core of seeking validation from people around us.
Imagine a world where people are completely in their own true form and the world just doesn’t care a damn for what designer shoes you wear, which car you drive, what is your profession or in which school your children study?
Through this imagination ride, you can experience liberation- Isn’t it?
However, this feeling of liberation is not what most of us live with because our lives are entwined with constant attempts to impress others.
I am no exception to this herd.
We all wear masks
I know by now your minds must be rummaging through hundreds of reasons and justifications about the necessity to wear masks.
We get enticed with the Bollywood hunks and divas by seeing their so well-maintained physical shapes and beautiful smiles, our minds are robbed to think of the perfect lives they have, so full of riches, grandeur, beauty, fame and social status. We can’t resist our temptation to click on YouTube channels to see those perfect lives and how we envy them!
Thanks to the Chinese brainchild ‘Tik Tok’ which to a large extent has helped people romanticize such lives –even though just for the sake of posting videos and living for few minutes in the self-created haven of love and glamour.
Do you ever think behind those powdered and painted faces, those luxurious cars, and so perfect relationship pictures are many layers of imperfections?
Just rush your mind through the images of your friends, relatives, office colleagues –Do you see any similarity between you and them?
The most apparent similarity is all of you are faking- trying to be something that you may not be.
How many times do people try to hide abusive relationships, financial problems, kids not excelling in academics, and even any deadly diseases?
Let me tell you most of the time!
I have been observing since quite some time that charity is no more limited to an empathetic, compassionate and loving heart, but has become a fashionable hat, worn by the social elite to put it up in their twitter handles or FB pages- the core of social work is being drained away, under the canopy of pretension; though not to say the society still has many philanthropic and benevolent hearts like that of Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Medha Patekar, and even many common men and women.
Intelligence is something gifted through our genes and nurtured through our efforts- definitely not purchased degrees to show off. Yet there are people everywhere, who wear they’re not so well attained education to pamper their pseudo ego and status.
Not to speak of the ever-pleasing category of people who think the most arduous task is to say a no; who easily are ready to be the sacrificial lamb for every petty thing, to fulfill every petty wish and demand of others. Ask them in seclusion-they must be an unhappy lot.
Think for a while-about the facade you are posing for the world.
Are you truly the one that you are showing? Are you deep within happy with your portrayal? Do you think you can unmask and yet be happy?
Give it a try!
Start by being non-judgemental of others.
Learn to appreciate authenticity, try a day without your make up or just saying no for a party.
I know initially, it will perturb you and also it did to me.
Yet as you start doing this from one day to the next and the next, supporting people, accepting your assumed vulnerabilities and converting those to strengths, appreciating and promoting uniqueness – mind you! Not only in creativity but our lives.
As I am dwelling on this topic presently, the windows of my mind open up to my college days.
I remember there was a tall, intelligent, and not so well-dressed girl with a long cotton bag slinging from her shoulder and sitting in one of the benches. She was regularly irregular, cycling alone in the wood and purchasing a ticket to see a movie without any friends with her. My mind is fresh with pictures of her climbing the mango trees in summer and biting on the raw mangoes while passers-by gave awkward glances.
I can’t forget the nonchalant look she always had. She seemed quite comfortable in her own skin and a confident deserter of the man-made feminine expectation of our society. Many years later, I learned she armed herself with a Ph.D. from one of the top Institutions of the world and is today a much sought-after economics analyst, known globally for her work and conviction.
Here’s a live example that we can unmask and still be successful and happy.
Who has not watched the movie ‘Mask?’
The great actor Jim Carrey in his much entertaining role as Mr. Stanley, wherein he accidentally gets a mask that gives him unwarranted power to do as he wills once worn, but at the end, he throws off that mask to be back to his normal life and feels extremely happy about it- to forgo the supernatural power and be a regular guy.
Direct your attention to throwing away the feigned perfection and enjoying the freedom of authenticity; channelizing your time and energy in more fruitful courses; drench yourself with the peace and happiness that will touch your soul you will be overwhelmed with yourself.
Behind every mask, there is a face and behind that a story. – Marty Rubin