The Mask
   Date :05-Apr-2018

They say, everyone has a story but not everybody tells it. Everyone has a secret, some are darker than others but everybody has it. The dangerous part about this is that we are oblivious about these secrets. Not that it’s any of our concern about other people’s secrets, but in some way they affect us as to the way we connect with them. Some secrets can even influence our connections with them. Sitting in a garden beside some old guy, can you even guess what his story is? Even if you are talking with this person since a past few days, you cannot know the secrets which are layered deep down in his heart, unless and until he opens them. How hard do we try to know the pain behind his smile? Well, even if we try, we cannot know for the reason that he would be wearing a mask that is hiding his true face.
People in the 21st century have a tendency of wearing masks. They wear masks to hide their true faces of fear, anger, depression, and sadness. This can be very simply summed up to “hide the reality”. People know that reality is the bitter truth so they confront the people they know with lies. The hiding game has been in people’s lives for a long time and with every other person; be it your home, your office, your friends, your neighbors or your love. How far is it correct to wear a mask for the sake of happiness of your family or loved ones by killing your inner self? Well, this remains a debatable question.
In today’s world, it feels like every day is a Halloween; where everyone pretends someone they are not. Every person we meet is hiding something from us, of which we are unaware; and we miss out such details. People have mastered the art of faking at such a level that we cannot even identify if the person is really smiling at us or we are mistaken that he is actually smiling.
In her article, “The Masks That We Wear”, by Susan Sparks, she says that the principle reason behind people wearing such masks is that people suffer from Imposter Syndrome- the fear that the world is going to find us out. We suffer from pretending a fake personality, like, you play a successful person when in reality you are not even able to face your fears, you act as if you are very happy and satisfied with your job when in reality that job is eating your mental peace, you make believe that you are in a happy marriage because you cannot hurt your partner with the truth that this marriage is falling apart, and other such things. The more and more we pretend the more and scarier it gets. Above all, the saddest part is that we actually do not realize what we are really hiding: TRUTH.
The question arises of why we lie and wear masks? Is it so hard to be honest? Or there lies a fear inside us? There exist many reasons for such questions and each person comes up with a suitable reason about why they hide their true self. One such motive I came across was the fear of using the truth against them, so lying becomes a part of self-defense too. The other cause, which in my view is the principal reason, is not accepting our true self. We try to fit ourselves in other’s definition and thus begin the lying and hiding game. To hide our true self, there obviously comes our lies. It is not surprising that the present generation plays the game of lying on social media too. Pretending to be happy to the world is the extended version of lying.
I asked a lot of people about why do they lie, and came across wide-ranging reasons or motives behind the same. The very strong motive from sensitive people came that they lied because they couldn’t hurt others. Some people will lie to mitigate risks in their lives. A very interesting motive that I got to know is that people lie sometimes purposely to avoid any bad consequences and get the outcomes as they want. Speaking the truth might not always confront others and even yourself, and you may not always be ready to face the consequences. Lying comes naturally when you want to be safe, which is in human nature.
According to Bella DePaulo, we sometimes tempt people to lie to us. In her article, “Why do People lie to you?” in Psychology Today, she stated that there are some qualities (good or bad) in us that tempt and allow other people to lie to us. These may include our high regard and expectations for special people in our lives, our status or power, some can interpret us as “scary person” and to defend themselves they start lying when people know that you are vulnerable to hurting they lie, and so on.
As I said, the lying game is in our lives for a long time. Humans have the power of deception and they have mastered it efficiently. Everyone has their own reasons to hide the truth. “Fake” is the new trend and a lot of people have “styled” it. But how long we can sustain in this game of hiding and lying? Is it better to be defeated on your principles than to win on lies? We are humans, not born with “Masks”; so it’s easy to take them off. Becoming and accepting our true self fearlessly is the best gift to ourselves. Oscar Wilde rightly said,"Be yourself, everyone else is taken." Be original. Be honest. In a world where everyone wears a Mask, it’s a privilege to see a soul.