Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Seeing Past the Mask

In our professional and personal lives it is important to see past the ‘mask’ of another. The outside of a person can be a veneer in a sense that requires one to look further to see the individual within.

As you chip away at the ice,
You begin to see the object that is hidden within.

The beauty is hidden inside,
And as the ice melts,
The dazzling lights shine through.

Orange, green, yellow and blue.
The colors blind your eyes,
For their lights are intense.

As the ice melts further,
Even more beauty emerges.

As the cold increases,
The beauty within the ice is shut off.
For lights emerge only when the heat is there,
But the coldness creeps in more often than not
and the beauty is hidden once more.

This poem which I wrote many years ago describes the process of getting to know someone, whether friend, colleague, client or acquaintance. The journey of developing a relationship requires one to look beneath the outer skin or ‘mask’ of an individual. It requires people skills. It requires patience, a dance in a sense of asking questions, answering questions, being compassionate and empathic humans. One cannot take everything at face value. The ability to recognize and reflect is important as well, especially body language and non-verbal cues.

Written by Victoria Brewster, MSW

*First posted at: http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/2013/02/12/seeing-past-the-mask/

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