The end of smiles

FEATURE

October 19, 2020

Endangered.

Is it humankind itself, or the capacity to live?

Her soul and compassion are shielded from view.

His strength and humor are not to be seen.

For how long? Is it up to us?

 

Shrouded.

The mask hides another mask, lying beneath, less superficial.

The mask hides the malice of some, the kindness of others.

The mask is our savior. The mask is our jailer.

It is all of these things. It is none of these things.

 

Hidden.

Joy is hidden. Despair is hidden.

These truths are self-evident. These lies are bald-faced.

The play’s the thing. The play is nothing.

What matters most today, won’t matter at all tomorrow.

 

Challenges.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 

What makes us stronger doesn’t kill us.

Rising to face our tests prevents us from succumbing to the depths.

The mask is a symbol. It represents what each of us choose.

 

Contradictions.

We owe everything to each other. Each of us owe only to ourselves.

Together we stand. Alone we must remain. 

These philosophies are not in conflict. 

They are two sides of the same coin.

 

Evolution.

We hear of a new normal, but not a normal that is temporary.

We hear that we are in this together, 

yet we must keep our social distance.

We hear of uncertain times, 

yet we hear of what is needed of us in absolutes.

Is this our salvation, or our damnation?

 

Acceptance.

It’s who you know. It’s who knows you.

Suspicion and fear transform into tolerance. 

Resentment gives way to understanding.

On the surface, the mask hides all. Within us, the mask hides nothing.

 

Is it the end of smiles? 

Are they to be forever hidden by our masks?

The strength of our character, the character of our strength.

Both will see us through.

Humankind will endure. Smiles will prevail.

Smiles have not been erased or vanquished.

They still lift us up, and will always be an inspiration.

Smiles are still proudly worn on our faces.

Smiles are still a part of us. 

One of the very best parts of humanity.

For now, we can only see smiles in the eyes of others.

For how long? It is up to us.

© 2020 by Joe Townsel. All Rights Reserved.

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