According to Shakespeare, all the world is a stage, and all women and men are merely players. Is everything I see just a facade? Nowhere is there more superficiality on display than in the world of politics. As I am writing on my blog at this very moment, the two candidates vying for the highest office of the world are engaged in a game of mud slinging. A game where they are accusing each other of every imaginable dirty trick in the political playbook. On election night, one of them will make a concession speech where they will extol the virtues of their opponent – somebody they ripped into pieces just hours before. Maybe this is why I am losing interest in politics or have lost the enthusiasm with which I read newspaper headlines years ago.
Politics aside, in the real world, every one of us is a player on a Shakespearean stage. I think putting on a facade is a survival strategy in a world that operates on utilitarian logic. One main lesson I learned, unfortunately too late in life, is to keep your thoughts and feelings under wraps in communication with others or anyone who is not part of your private life. A facade is way to be strategic – taking in information without revealing your inner thoughts. As somebody known for being extremely forthright, it is a difficult pill to swallow. I can wear emotions too much on my sleeve. Maybe because growing up, I was surrounded by people who were just like me – like-minded people gravitate toward another. I had a number of blind spots that I was never able to see until it suddenly dawned on me that I just made the mistake of a lifetime. As I entered adulthood, I realized that the world does not work the way I think it does. I have experienced more issues dealing with people than I have with anything else in life. There are way too many personalities. Heck, even my first cousins are fundamentally different from me in our values.
As part of my journey of self-improvement, I constantly look for role models – people who have had made it very far in life at a tender age. The exceptional people who understand the fine balance between exuding warmth and kindness toward others and protecting one’s ambition in life. These are the sophisticated ones. They know how to put on a facade without the mudslinging games that politicians play. Too often, the word facade has negative connotations, but there is nothing wrong to wear a facade if it is a mechanism that can help you navigate the unpredictable waters in the Shakespearean world we live in.