Transformers…robots in disguise! This is one of my all time favourite lines. Thanks to the Michael Bay directed blockbuster sequel, a majority now know about this alien race. Interestingly, they live on earth in plain view, although quite innocuously…as motor vehicles of one sort or the other. In case you haven’t seen this movie, maybe you should if you enjoy action, good and bad guys and the whole saving the earth scenario!
As an analogy it’s pretty interesting, because one way or the other we all wear one form of disguise or the other. Whilst some deliberately set out to deceive, others may appear to be something other than what they really are. This is different from the different hats and roles that some are called to fill at various times and places. A celebrity may also be a mother and wife, whilst the successful business man happens to be a devoted son, sibling and friend to those in his family and inner circle. In some cases real disguises may come in when public figures feel that this one of the only ways to get some privacy.
We wear masks and yet still living seemingly ‘normal lives’ in the process. They help us function and be who and what we ought (or want) to be at every point in time. These forms shield us and prevent exposure of our more vulnerable side. This camouflage helps everyone function in society. Unfortunately, the perverts and other criminal types also take advantage of this and engage in anti-social behaviour of the worst kind.
The Autobots only came out of ‘hiding’ when necessary, but the other times they lived mundane lives with their human owners none the wiser. For people this sometimes happens, when unexpected situations present themselves and we don’t have the ready answer or solution in the required context. If the reaction or behaviour demonstrated is atypical of the circumstances, there might be comments and surprise at the unexpected turn of events by colleagues and others present.
Socialisation teaches the norms of societal behaviour and since every human being is programmed from babyhood, abnormal conduct is usually frowned upon. Thus, tears in men, or somewhat unemotional woman are not the usual. Vulnerability is usually reserved for a trusted few, those that understand the individual and find it acceptable for them to expose this part of their nature. It becomes a problem if people don’t have an avenue where they can completely let down their guard. It creates more difficulty for such a person to be normal in the true sense of what this represents.
The chance to let off steam regularly is crucial to character development and general well being. The more emotional aspects of human nature are part and parcel of the entire package and denying this creates an imbalance that eventually wrecks havoc. Emotional balance is critical. Discussions with any psychologist or psychiatrist will reveal that acceptance of certain characteristics described as a ‘weakness’ helps the individual to become more rounded as they either overcome, control or change it.
Others can see us more clearly than we sometimes see ourselves and when we listen to the people we trust give their unbiased opinions, it’s important we do something, especially if more than one has voiced the same observations in unrelated occurrences. It takes courage to let others see what we consider as personal. Privacy is has its place but life isn’t really worthwhile if those we love and that love us cannot scold us over the critical aspects of our lives when the need arises.