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Everyone hides behind a mask. Consciously or not, everyone does. The gangster hides behind a pair of silver tinted aviator sunglasses and a ton of bling as his favorite rap artist does. The cheerleader hides under shiny lip gloss, a layer of makeup, fake laughter and contempt for everyone else. Why do they do it? Don't they realize that all they highlight is their lack of self confidence, that they have the need to be perceived as "cool"?

Gone are the days when a mask used to lend an air of mystery, for today's masks deliver conformity to social norms. Gone are the days when masks used to cover the face, for today's masks conceal nothing yet hide everything.

We all desire to find the perfect companion, someone with whom we can share all our thoughts, ideas, and most importantly someone to take away this inherent feeling of loneliness which is ever present in our minds. But how can we find that companion when all we do is hide our true selves from each other. While we hide beneath these masks of our choosing, others perceive our false selves and any relationships thus formed would not long lived as it is based on a lie. The most important question in this context would be "Are these masks in place to deceive others, to hide our scars from others or to hide from a cruel world?"

While viewing the various masked strangers around me going on with their lives, I feel this strong sense of loneliness descend upon me. While putting on my own mask to join the throng, I shiver inside as I ask myself

"what lies beneath this thin veneer of civility?"

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