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The XauSky View


Giving Thanks for the Masks We Wear

To answer that question, let’s first examine the figurative masks that we wear every day. Whether it is the projection of different personas at work, another at the gym, at church or at home, as humans we often shift how we present ourselves based on the people, places and circumstances that we may find ourselves in. Each environment that we are in may have similar or conflicting expectations of how we should behave, present ourselves, and interact based on the activity and who is involve. This often forces us to compartmentalize aspects of ourselves in order to fit in or adjust to conform. At the root of this behavior is that it serves as a self-defense mechanism aimed at seeking acceptance and belonging or reducing the likelihood of rejection and embarrassment. Either way, it is assimilation by choice, and in others, its survival by necessity.

If we adorn figurative masks to navigate the various aspects of our lives successfully, let’s be thankful. However, if they are holding you back or limiting your ability to be the best version of yourself, also be thankful for reaching this far and obtaining this level of self-awareness. If you are actively and intentionally working on removing the masks and being more authentic, then be thankful for the journey that you are currently on. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we wear masks in situations that require us to manage others’ expectations of us and our emotions, address difficult circumstance, confront conflict, among other reasons. Essentially, we consciously or unconsciously adorn them as a means of protecting ourselves, and in some instances, others.

So, we are now confronted with a global pandemic and the literal wearing of masks have been proposed as a means of protecting ourselves and others. Let’s be thankful for the sharing of differing perspectives on this issue as well as the science that provide data on how we can protect ourselves. The data is stubbornly in support of wearing masks to minimize the spread of infection. Therefore, some have assimilated by choice, others out of necessity (i.e. in healthcare) and yet for others adorn the figurative mask entrenched in their believes that personal right supersedes the collective good. Either way, masks are being worn and unlike figurative masks, who are wearing literal masks are easily and quickly identified.

Therefore, during the Thanksgiving season, let’s be aware of the figurative and literal masks we wear. As we choose to continue to quarantine at home or spend time with family and friends, let’s be safe and conscientious about how we are protecting ourselves and others both figuratively and literally. We can be thankful for role masks play in helping us successfully navigate through uncertainty, a health crisis, and a life with no guarantees that tomorrow is promised. Be thankful for the masks that have gotten us to enjoy today, with hopes that our masks will continue to protect us to see a brighter tomorrow.

Originally posted on on 11/27/2020

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