Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Our Masks

The other day I was thinking about a young couple that divorced several years ago.
Today, they have both remarried and I think that they are happy ... but I thought they were happy before.
Their divorce came as a big surprise to me. Even though I saw them every week in my Sunday school class, even though they were relatively active in church, even though they appeared to be happy for the few hours each week that I saw them -- they were not.

There is a saying that you have probably heard --
Be kind -- for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

It has been attributed to different people and has been said in different variations, but the truth remains that we really don't know how the people we encounter are suffering or what hardships they are enduring -- even if we think we know them fairly well.

While we may choose to be transparent about what we believe and how we feel about many things, we rarely allow others to share in our burdens. Sometimes it is the boldest and bravest that carry the largest burdens and suffer the most. Marital problems, finances, work, heath, kids -- there are so many areas of life that can bring great stress into life.
And where do we go to unload our burdens? Not everybody (perhaps even very few people) has someone that they can confide in.

A friend once told me that he believed that everybody needs to have a counselor -- a therapist. Sometimes I think that maybe there is more truth to that than most of us would like to admit.
We wear masks to hide weaknesses.
Sometimes we may wear masks to hide strengths so that we can exploit the weaknesses of others.
We wear masks because of guilt.
We wear masks because of regret.
We wear masks to hide our ignorance.
We wear masks to cover our inabilities.

We wear so many masks that it may be difficult to recognize our true selves. How different is the person in the mirror from the person that other people see?

It may be that not everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle -- at least, maybe not today.
And I do believe that there are people that are genuinely happy nearly all of the time, but it is probably safe to be kind anyway.
So be kind. You never know the impact of a few kind words or a simple kind act. The person that you see may not be the same person that is behind the mask.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

True, you don't know what a person may have been through or what they are going through now.

See you tomorrow.