Friday, June 15, 2018

A World Without Masks

In recent years the air we breathe has been a concern for many. You walk the streets of any big city and you will see citizens wearing masks. The problem is the fine dust and yellow sand which pollutes the air. Alerts for dangerous air conditions are made frequently. 

When the children complain of itchy eyes and runny noses parents are concerned. The government is also concerned but the efforts are little and results scarce. Education authorities have started some independent policies, ordering the students to wear masks and keeping them inside when the dust particles exceed the dangerous level. Parents and experts are to keep an eye on dust levels and to install purifiers in classrooms.

For many years the problem seemed to be mostly from China with the yellow dust from the Gobi desert and pollution coming in from the Chinese cities. Recently, however, the expert opinion says a great deal of the pollution seems to be homegrown. 

An article in a diocesan bulletin adds a few particulars to the problem of the air we breathe. A university professor tells the readers that in his classroom almost half the students are wearing masks and some wear hats. This makes it difficult to recognize the students.

In the recent past when a student wore a mask he thought it was a sign of a cold the wearer was fighting and showing concern for others but he realized those with colds were few. Also when the alert was not high the number wearing masks stayed the same. He learned many of the students were busy with their studies, had part-time work, tired and were resting from cosmetic concerns by wearing the masks.

Everybody likes to give a good impression to others with their appearance. However would it not be a great blessing if we could face others as we are without any discomfort? Eye to eye contact with a smile on our face wouldn't that bring happiness to our lives? Wearing a mask at times not only covers our face but our hearts.

The writer would like to have a society without masks except for serious colds and dangerous air pollution,  otherwise to live without masks. 

Masks, as we know, can metaphorically speaking be produced from the insides. These kinds of masks are more harmful to our mental health. With time these masks are harder to remove and make us inauthentic, and concerned with unnecessary matters. Transparency is a great gift—openness to others as we are to God. A great blessing we can dream to one day possess.