On Dealings With Masks

I met a man once.
His hair as black as coal and eyes as hard as steel. They had the ability to pierce through your skin with its intended message, a message most could do without ever receiving in their entire lifetime. His cheek and jawline contributed in sending that message across and sometimes the length of his fingers would fold into his palm, forming a perfectly made ball.

Some said he wasn’t meant to be played with, no one was to double-cross him, but his face had given him away. The reality was, that same hard face, in addition to its toughness had also brought with it the opportunity for weakness. For I saw a man like me, and every man, no matter how great he is, has his weaknesses alongside his strengths, whatever they may be.

But masks don’t.

No matter how hard a man is, I know at the end of the day, that he is a man. But masks give the illusion of the ethereal, of something beyond this world, beyond understanding. Something that cannot be touched.
Something that cannot be criticized either because its very existence is deception. And to criticize deception is also illusion because one cannot truly criticize what doesn’t really exist.

You cannot see the eyes behind the mask, whether the lines behind are chiseled or soft. Does the forehead wrinkle when they think too hard, do their eyebrows rise and fall with their words?
The human behind this mask is exhilarated with the idea that he cannot be seen. The freedom to do more than he has ever been allowed to is present.
And the idea that consequences do not fall on masks, only humans is present too.

Taking off a mask is akin to taking off one’s invisibility cloak, accepting full responsibility for life and living and all it entails.
It is recognizing that only you can allow yourself. That you can give yourself permission to live truly.
That weaknesses need understanding, acknowledgement and acceptance. And that doing this has a stronger effect that the attempt to eliminate.
And the masks know this too. That’s why they fail.

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I write about digital product design.

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Adaku Nwakanma

Adaku Nwakanma

I write about digital product design.