Unmasking the masking mystery

With Covid-19 raising its ugly head again, putting on the mask is one of the best things you can do to stave off infection. Still, there are many people out there who are either reluctant to use it or they don’t wear it properly. While interacting with others, more so when we are being diplomatic, we wear an invisible psychological mask, so what prevents us from wearing a physical mask?

Have we not seen Jain monks wearing masks even during the normal course of the day? Most of us know that even wearing the mask partially is akin to putting one foot in the grave, still we continue. What prevents us from changing our habit? Effecting change in behaviour essentially boils down to conviction. Conviction is all about thinking right. It is a cerebral function which originates from our head.

However, mere conviction is not enough. It has to be accompanied by commitment — an emotional element rooted in the heart. Next, our thinking has to be operationalised, this is done by our hands. Thus, head, heart and hand — all three need to be in sync for the ‘old order to change yielding place to new’. Same sequence of steps is necessary to convert masking into a habit. It is essentially an internally driven process than an externally enforced discipline.

The same sequence helps devout spiritual practitioners to never miss out on their or meditation. Masking is not about suffocation but liberation, because the mask you wear protects others, and the mask others wear protects you.

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