Today is Halloween when lots of people, from children to adults, will be donning masks. But how often do we wear an invisible mask parading as anger, intolerance or racism which try to make us forget who we really are. These masks hid our natural beauty, health and even holiness. Don Ingwerson, my colleague from Southern California has this to say about removing masks.
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Of all the Halloween events I’ve participated in, one stands out from the rest. I was supposed to walk the neighborhood with my family, but my appointments kept me late in Los Angeles. By the time I got home and caught up with my family, they were visiting their last house. I jumped in line still in my office attire, and the host standing at the door in full Halloween costume called to his wife, “Honey come and look – this must be a Republican!”
I wonder if the celebration of Halloween did not develop out of the mirroring of real life. We all wear masks every day – sometimes without even knowing it. These are masks that may hide or in some way disguise emotions and feelings like sadness, worry, and pain. Or just for a brief period of time you consciously represent yourself as someone you’ve always wanted to be. I have a son-in-law who uses this occasion to mask as a personality he finds interesting. And for a short period of time he seems to be that person.
But these masks, whether worn on Halloween or throughout the year, are just disguises, and without our consent they are unable to fasten themselves upon us. These masks have no ability to speak, act, influence, or affect the thinking of the one who recognizes the masks for what they are – a pretense. Yet could it be that the sadness, worry, pain, etc., are themselves false representations of who we actually are?