What’s behind the mask? | Life Series

This Halloween wasn’t the same due to the weather. However, like most children, my son’s spirit remained unscathed as he dressed up as a Grim Reaper ready to reap the reward for braving the heavy downpour.

Read time: less than 2 min.

The mask, along with the black cloak, transformed him from an innocent fun-loving boy to a scary creature ready to take his victim’s soul. It’s nice to watch kids all dressed up and pretending to be someone they are not.

The pretense for the kids ends once the night is over. However, the pretense that often grown-ups get into could go on for the rest of our lives. I am not referring to the malicious facade that some go around with, but to those who knowingly or almost innocently wear, hiding us of who we are.

  • Some pretend to be failures when all they have given is just one try.
  • Some pretend to surround themselves with worldly material to feel successful when on the inside, they are empty.
  • Some pretend to be sad all the time to gather sympathy when almost everything is joyous in their lives.
  • Some pretend to be superior where all they’ve got is money
  • Some pretend to be good parents but fail to steer their children in the right direction when they get off on the wrong path.
  • Some pretend to be good citizens but don’t heed to the call of fellow-citizens in need of help.
  • Some pretend to be good employers but don’t care about their employees’ well-being.
  • Some pretend to be good employees and do things that they won’t if they were the owners.
  • Some pretend to do what others expect when they are dying to do what they truly desire for themselves.


I had saved an article a while ago that fits today’s discussion. Here’s an extract of the article originally published on Mount Holyoke College’s website.

Author and journalist Anna Quindlen on being original:

“…Nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect [in the way people expect] and beginning the work of becoming yourself. This is more difficult, because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no mask to wear. Set aside what your friends expect, what your parents demand, what your acquaintances require. Set aside the old traditional notion of female as nurturer and male as leader; set aside, too, the new traditional notions of female as superwoman and male as oppressor. Begin with that most terrifying of all things, a clean slate. Then look, every day, at the choices you are making, and when you ask yourself why you are making them, find this answer: for me, for me. Because they are who and what I am, and mean to be.

This will always be your struggle whether you are twenty-one or fifty-one. I know this from experience. When I quit the New York Times to be a full-time mother, the voices of the world said that I was nuts. When I quit it again to be a full-time novelist, they said I was nuts again. But I am not nuts. I am happy. I am successful on my own terms. Because if your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

Trick or treat night is over; the kids have come back to the real world with their masks removed. It’s now time for the grown-ups to bring their original and authentic self forward from the veil of pretence.

This is my 50th blog. And by no measure, I pretend to have achieved my full potential. I have a long way to go, and I am hoping to add more value to my writing one blog at a time.

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There’s wisdom everywhere if we know where to look. Do share if you come across any nuggets of wisdom that could be in our Common Interest.

So long, until next week.



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