In last week’s blog, ‘Look Within The Eyes Protruding Above the Mask,’ I gave a nod to something deeper, something percolating within, far below the surface. We touched on what we saw more on the exterior, you know, like happy, sad, fearful and the sort. You were asked to look into the eyes of others wearing the mask. Also, to look into your own mirror and see what others saw
For better or worse, evolution, change, and maturation is constant and present in everything. We are changing, getting better at reading one another behind the mask. Think of the deaf person who instinctively develops visual acuity and senses change in their environment, such as movement, pressure, and temperature variation. The same can be said of those that are visually impaired, keenly aware of sound and their environment. We are now somewhat impaired, mask to mask. Remember, in my previous article we acknowledged the most ancient and transparent form of communication has been full facial contact, albeit the eyes being the dominant means of reading one another.
In this Covid-19 world, body language plays an increasingly pivotal role. Many of us have seized on the opportunity to utilize this tool when reading and/or relating with one another.
As I go about my daily routine, I have made a concerted effort to convey kindness and appreciation when interacting face to face. I strive to speak respectfully and enthusiastically. More attention is given to my posture in an effort to show deference and confidence. Consistently adopting a tone of voice wrapped in warmth and compassion is perhaps challenging, but worth the effort. Yes, all this may seem somewhat contrived. Yet it is designed to cross the divide facilitating a positive and productive exchange and projecting sincere empathy. Dare this be called ‘good manners?’
Remember, we do not know what is transpiring behind the other’s mask. It is in all our interests to convey heartfelt kindness, something we may not have concerned ourselves with so much prior to social distancing and such.
Like the bats hiding in caves and in belfries, and then emerging out into the world we will naturally draw upon all our senses, processing the raw input and through human intelligence, not artificial intelligence, will learn how better to interact with our fellow man.
Embrace the mask and Happy Halloween! .
J.R. Strayve, Jr. is a novelist and author of First Spouse of the United States and Braxton’s Century. For information on J.R. visit https://jrstrayvejr.com/.