Wearing The Mask

In life, it’s very easy to go through the motions. Routine, I find, is a coping mechanism. Everybody is going through something on any given day. While we may respond to the passerby’s question of “How are you?” with a “Fine,” we know that many times, our answer is a lie.

Paul Laurence Dunbar explains this internal struggle best in his poem, “We Wear the Mask:”

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
Why are you wearing the mask today?
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