For Those That Wear Social Masks

The type of people that on the outside play smart, but on the inside fear to find themselves.

The first time I noticed that someone was wearing a social mask was in high school in my senior year. It was a person that I admired a lot and was becoming close. I heard a discussion that made me raise red flags about him, and I started to think a lot about what it means to be an open-minded person. 

For me, this expression changed meaning. An open mind is not a quality people have just because they may be ready for new experiences, or readily adaptable to the most diverse environments. An open mind is to be able to put yourself in another's place. I do not mean only on daily situations, but to understand that there are other "worlds" outside your own. How many times do we see people suffering from not being able to show who they truly are, let their happiness aside to make other people happy? The type of people that on the outside play smart, but on the inside fear to find themselves.

I can say that on that day, I learned a new thing. It is not enough to travel around the world, study in the most influential schools, or even defend yourself, saying that you want to fit in. What matters is who you become after all that. I learned that ignorance is not the unknowledge to argue and defend your principles. It comes from the heart. Ignorance is sneaky; it hides and controls your thoughts, and often puts you to live inside a bubble.

The remedy for that? Put yourself on other's shoes. You may define it as empathy. With everything we are living today, this day that I learned what social masks are, always come to my mind. People are so used to pretend to be someone else so that others accept them. They are willing to compromise other people's happiness – and their own -  for their gain. 

Seeing the situation from the outside, today I can see how that person was lost on himself, how that bubble that carried him around grew as much as he did since that day. I hope one day he can pop up that bubble with his happiness. Who knows if after that, he will be more empathetic and careful with what may hurt other people.  

Besides that, we are living a time that masks are necessary – the physical one. We need to protect ourselves against a virus, but we do not need to protect our hearts. Be careful when you take off your mask to be sure you are taking the other one too. 

With that, I finish this with a thought that I learned so much from – is it worth to give up your own happiness to make others happy?