Halloween is here again, buy what catches the eye is the choice of masks. We can expect a few silly Bachmanns and scary Obamas. In all fairness, though, I hope we’ll also see some preposterous Caines and gun-toting Perrys. However, my point isn’t the masks tonight. It’s the ones we all wear all year round!
Freud and Jung have helped us understand why. We all bear scars and disfigurations we prefer the world not see. Deep-seated biases, festering fears, simmering angers, and pockets of sheer ignorance. Not the persona we want others to behold. And so instead, the world beholds mostly alpha males in business, smart career moms and fathers-know-best dads in the suburbs, beautiful quarterbacks and cheerleaders in school, along with clear-eyed, pre-scripted candidates in politics.
When you look at their outsides from your inside — well, it can be intimidating. Although if you think about it hard enough, it’s deceptive. Still, the world isn’t quite ready for un-masked populations walking around letting one another know what they really feel.
Imagine a world in which we could shed our masks. In which both the great and the small could admit to their respective albatross — the arrogance of the great and the ignorance of the small! The great — leaders, bankers, generals, judges, doctors — admitting just how little they really know and how much they’re just doing their best. The small — that would be the rest of us — admitting just how often our ignorance explodes into blaming whatever party, class, race or religion we can find for our fears.
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