I spent the day with my children yesterday walking the streets in search of Halloween treats. It seems to me, with every new year, there are more and more children dressed up and wandering around, door to door, to fill up their baskets of candy. My kids went as the Mario Brothers. They seemed to get a pretty good response from passers-by as they passed other trick-or-treaters on the streets. You should have seen them with the big mustache that covered a large part of their face. I couldn’t help but smile when I caught some of the responses of people as they walked by.
While my kids had a simple costume, you could tell who they were by looking at them. Some children were completely covered in a body suit. Whether they were going as a gorilla, a race car driver (complete with helmet), or any other costume requiring a mask, I couldn’t tell who these kids were. Some of the kids who passed by waved at us, but I couldn’t recognize them. The only thing I knew about these kids was what outfit they had on. I could recognize the mask, but beneath it, the mystery loomed.
I think we all wear a mask from time to time. Obviously, I am not speaking of a literal mask. I am talking about something that covers us, and makes outsiders recognize us in an entirely different light than the people we reveal ourselves to. Many of us wear masks to hide our imperfections when we are around other people. By wearing a mask we can become unrecognizable. We can hide the part of us we don’t want people to see. We can become another person.
Why do we all have to do this to seek another’s approval? Shouldn’t we find comfort in ourselves and walk boldly in front of the crowd? I think the world would find itself in a better place if some people would take off their masks. While my mask may suggest I am a young, happy father of two kids who lives a comfortable life as a reporter in the county I live in, I struggle. My life is not easy. When I think about it, I don’t know if any single aspect of my life has been easy. Although some people may look at me and see failure, if they had walked in my shoes and been in places I have been in life, they might begin to believe I am a great story of success. What makes success? To be honest, I must say the answer to that question is still up for debate, at least in my head. What I can tell you is that the prettiest mask you can wear will not change your level of success. Your mask will not make you better. It is solely dependent upon the drive of the person under the mask where you will go in this life.
Take off your mask. Nobody wants to see a lie. People want to know the real you. They will only respect the real you. Your mask can’t earn respect, and while people may respect your lie, it is a matter of time before the mask proves its inability to carry your load. You are better without the mask. Your progress will come when you lay it down and move forward without it. Regardless of your position in this life, wherever you may be, your mask will never go further than you carry it. It is your footsteps that get you where you going in life. Throw down the mask, and walk on as who you really are.