By: Christa Smith
The mask issue of The Stew is not just about the physical masks that people wear, but also the metaphorical ones that we wear all of the time. In order to see the masks that we wear every day we have to start by looking in at ourselves and who we are and what motivates us to wear masks. It takes a lot of self reflection and brutal honesty to see our own masks.
The business and public relations mask is probably the one most often worn. We put on a smile and head off to work or that early morning meeting, but is what we present to others the real us? Is it possible to be congruent in our words and actions if we are not genuine with our mask? In order to build the relationships that are so important in not only doing
business but in building a community, the mask must be genuine and sincere. This is not to say that self restraint and diplomacy should not be used and that words should not be censored and well thought out. Our business mask must be not only genuine but professional and respectful as well. The mask that we wear on vacation or while out enjoying recreational activities can be different, and usually is, from the business mask. Knowing and seeing someone
outside of the work place can often be quite an eye opener as the mask changes and people see a different side of us.
Whether at work or at home, we keep masks on most of our lives.
This does not mean that it is bad, just maybe different. The recreation mask may be more competitive or more exuberant; it may represent a different type of passion or side of a personality that is not seen during the work week. Who we are as people are integrated elements into our daily masks. The key is to know ourselves and how we
present to others and ask ourselves if we are the person who we want to be and want others to see, or if our mask is fake and, in the true sense of the mask, a cover or the real me?
Even though the idea of a mask at all may sound fake, if we stop and think about how we present ourselves, brand our businesses and market our products, they are all forms of deliberately formed pictures of what we want people to see. The mask is no different for us personally; we show the world what we want it to see.
Making sure that our masks show the real person and the best possible qualities of our selves is an ongoing project in personal development and self reflection. Everything is about context and how we wear our masks is no different. In
sports, masks are worn for protection. In some cases masks are used as part of masquerading entertainment, and even as disguise. At Halloween masks are a huge part of appearance alteration, and elaborately constructed to fool and trick, as well as entertain. We hope that our masks are beautiful, entertaining and represent who we really are and our commitment to our readers and community. It is with pleasure that we present another issue of The Stew and our hope that you bear with us as we strive to learn and grow the business together.