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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Smiling Through Your Mask

Photo by Tobias Rehbein on Unsplash / Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash
Masks are one the most potent symbols of the pandemic we are living through.

Masks are barriers . . . plain and simple.

But what if you could harness that symbol and break through the barrier? I believe you can. What does it look like?

You need to start smiling through your mask. Did you know that even with a mask on, I can still tell if you are smiling or frowning? The creases in your forehead, the angle of your cheeks, the light (or lack of it) in your eyes. There are dozens of small ways that you can smile; even when your mouth and nose are covered.

But smiling through your mask is a metaphor for a larger truth. When we are faced with a barrier in our lives, it is easy to let that wall reduce us and drive us inward. Barriers say to us, "I'm in control and I get to call the shots." This is a lie. A barrier only calls the shots if we decide to let it be what defines us.

A barrier, like a mask we have to wear on our face, doesn't have to define how we view those around us. But many times it does. I have seen so many people who don a mask and immediately begin to act as if the world is out to get them. Everyone is infected . . . stay away . . . my job is to protect me!

That attitude is a choice. We can choose to let our mask define us or we can smile through the mask. What does that look like? Here are a few simple things I am doing as I wear my mask:

  • Say hello to those you pass or pay someone a compliment and let your words break down barriers.
  • Wave your hand or hold a door for someone and let your arms break down barriers.
  • Pick up toilet paper for someone else and let your actions break down barriers. 
Whatever you do, don't let the barrier define you. Instead, find safe and responsible ways to overcome those barriers and show genuine love and kindness to those around you. 

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