Do you wear a mask out of love or out of fear?

Posted by April Doyal on

It can feel a little disheartening, and even upsetting to realize that the reason that the CDC recommends wide-spread mask wearing is to protect other people rather than yourself.  While there are ways to increase the efficiency even for personal use (like ensuring it is well fitted to your face and adding additional filter material inside the filter pocket) the primary reasoning isn't for personal protection, it's for protection of other people, of society, of life as we know it.  

So many are anxious to get back to work and back to what we knew normal to be.  But the reality is as we look forward to the future, covering our faces is going to become a part of the future that isn't avoidable.  Many cities are issuing fines for anyone out in public not wearing a mask, and requiring businesses to refuse entry by any customer whose face is not covered. 

It is a big change, for all of us, and our natural human propensity is to resist and/or reject change.  It is also a primary function of our brains to think about our own self survival, which makes sense given the brain's primary function is to preserve itself.  

The media plays on this and uses this design flaw in our brains to convince us all the time to pay attention to whatever they are talking about, because viewers = advertiser dollars, so the more people that they can get to watch out of fear (or anger which is a fear based emotion) the more money they can add to their profit line from advertising budgets.  (IF you don't believe me turn on any news conference and listen to the questions asked by reporters.  Then turn on any news channel and really pay attention to how what they say affects you.  Chances are almost every story will make you feel either angry or fearful. 

There is a lot of talk on social media about the fact that the mask wearing is really not for personal protection and that "people wearing them are just too scared".  While I understand this perspective (as it's natural to view it that way)  we all have the power to change our perspective.  

I choose to cover my face.  I am not living somewhere that it is required by law or where I will be refused service for not having my face covered. But I choose to wear my mask for entirely different reasons than the average person that lives in fear.   I choose to live my life in love and not in fear.  

I battle regularly with whether or not I should share my personal feelings and thoughts and even my personal research into things with other people in any sort of public manner.  But I also feel it is important to say something, otherwise I am left knowing I said nothing.  And I have lived with that too many times in my life to do it again now. 

When you wear a mask out of fear - you wear it because you are scared. You are scared to catch the virus, you are scared to die, you are scared of something and you allow that fear to control you.  Often, for most everyone, the real fear is the fear of the unknown.  Many of the people that make fear based decisions are the same ones with closets stuffed to the brim with toilet paper and that bought up all the flour without any of the other baking necessities.  They are the ones that buy disinfectants when they see them even if they have 12x more than they need already at home. They buy these things out of fear because they are afraid they will run out and won't have the ability to get it again when they need it.  It is an entirely different type of hoarding.

When you wear a mask out of love, you accept that you don't know the level of protection that it is providing you, but you wear it out of love and out of respect (also a love based action) for human kind.  It is a vulnerable act to wear a mask right now, it hides our smiles and half of our faces, it isn't normal to us and it feels awkward and like it draws attention to us that we may not want or need.  But when we change our perspective on the situation and look at it as I am not wearing my mask for me, i am wearing it for you, to protect people other than myself, we change the significance of what wearing it means.  Because wearing it for other people encourages those same people to do the same. I have no shame in wearing my mask. I leave things I see at the store there for someone else that might need them more than I do. 

Living our lives in love is an act of kindness, a gift we can give to the world around us, and when we take care of the world around us it will find ways to take care of us too.  

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