We walk through life on pathways created by choice and paved with intention. As we walk these paths, we take on masks made of expectations, roles taken from and given to use by those around us. Each and every action causes ripples throughout the sea of eternity. Only at the center do these ripples create a void of stillness.
Understanding the masks we wear is vital to understanding ourselves. There is a trend in modern society to try be real and to rip away the faces and show our true nature. Even as we steep ourselves in this reality we travel as father and brother, mother and aunt, friend and lover…a myriad of us contained within a single body. The Bard once wrote, all the world’s a stage and all the men and women just players. As we move through life, we take on the roles expected of us. Sometime, we are able to take on the role we choose instead of those chosen for us.
Some would call this deception. Others would say we should take control of our lives, live them real and unabashed. The roles we take though are neither good nor bad, they simply are. The roles are reactions to the world around us, the reality created by interactions of individual and community. This is the play.
Knowing the masks and wearing them are two different things though. Understanding ourselves, our natures, and the lines we speak is vital to ensuring that we become the roles and not the other way around. Too many times an individual takes a role…father…breadwinner…husband…criminal…priest…and that role becomes the face that they put the other masks upon.
A dichotomy exists where we wear these masks but must maintain ourselves, stepping from the front stage to the back, seen only by those we choose. Power exists in simplicity and we hand that power to the ones we choose by letting them see our true face. But even here we play a role, down stage as an actor and playwright.
What masks do you wear?