We Wear the Mask
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
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 over-wise,
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!
I have ALWAYS loved this poem by PLD. There is so much truth to the words even if you don’t know what all of the words mean.
I was messing around on Snap over the weekend and I started thinking about filters. They are masks. They add to or sometimes replace, what we look like and present a new face for the world. But in the end, they are only masking our true faces.
We mask our true selves.
If I can be completely honest with you, I can be guilty of wearing masks. I mean, one of my biggest fears in life is failure. That simple fear has kept me from doing so many things in my life because sometimes I convince myself that I am destined to fail even before I begin a process. For example, I started writing a book before the end of last school year, but I haven’t touched it at all since then. There is a fear there that nobody would want to read what I have to say. On the outside, I appear to be totally confident and self-assured.
That’s my mask. My filter. Well, one of them anyway.
The truth is, however, that the masks that we wear aren’t needed. We don’t have to hide. There are always people around us who will love us for exactly who we are…unfiltered and all. So, I don’t have to wear my masks.
I don’t have to hide from the world. Neither do you. You are beautiful just the way that you are…fears and all.
So, what are you hiding behind? What is your mask? Why are you using it?
I can’t wait to read your responses. It’s time to toss those masks aside!