[SIZE=+1]Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)[/SIZE] We Wear the Mask W[SIZE=-2]E[/SIZE] wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask! Interesting that a mask is generally worn when we don't want others to associate our faces with our actions. Typically the ones who wear masks when doing good deeds exist only in comics. The reality of our human nature tends to make us want to be noticed for good works. Thus, The Mask is used today to hide the true identity of the wearer. From Hangmen, terrorists, Roman Orgy attendees, Mardi Gras Heathens, Executioners, Gestapo and sadly, now the police forces of the world. They are all ashamed of their own identity or fear repercussions of it being known. The Mask can also be used to intimidate and coerce by bringing out the emotion of fear and dread in the subject. From wikipedia on "Balaclava" Maybe we all wear the mask?