Take off Your Mask to See More Clearly

Whose mask needs to come off first?

The Borderline is Up to You-Part One
I had an opportunity revisit the border town of Nuevo Progreso that we used to visit often when we lived in Texas. The last time we visited was when my son, Andrew was six weeks old, now he’s fifteen. We only spent about 5 hours there this July but we managed to experience a lot. Join me on our journey!

A Beggar’s Face

The children. It’s the children that get to ya. They approach carefully, screwing up their little faces as they come, dirt puffing out from their flip-flops. “Señora, ¿chicles?!” They come closer and begin circling us, “Meester, you want? Only one quarter!” Their faces. Oh those faces get to me.

But of course they do. That’s the training they have. They’re taught to beg, to plead, to look dejected and needy. So the little boy screws up his snubbed nose and furrows his little brow into a vision of hopelessness. The young girl scuffs a little extra dust and pulls the corners of her dirty mouth down into sadness, tugging on her little brother’s arm. He gestures to the packets of gum and in the most pathetic voice he can muster calls out, “¿Chicles, Señor?” The very pictures of poverty and need.

I hate it. I hate seeing children that way.

And they count on it.

I hate it so badly that it makes me feel a little surge of anger. “Stop looking so sad!” I want to shout at them. “Stand up straight, be proud of who you are – I would much rather help you when I see you helping yourself and growing!” I find myself feeling angry at the parents who would send their kids out with packets of those infernal chicles to haunt tourists at their borders.

But that’s the rub, isn’t it? They’ve been taught to beg because it works. They have to beg because they need the money. Parents send their children into the streets for the obvious reason that people are more tenderhearted towards kids. They’ve been taught to be subservient because that’s what makes people feel better about giving—“helping the poor” and all that. They’ve been taught that it pays to be unhappy.

Is that what it takes for us to help others? Does he have to look sad and downtrodden in order for us to offer a helping hand? Does she have to cry to receive encouragement? Do they have to be completely broke to have someone offer them a friendly meal?

Do we have to wear a beggar’s face?

Or could we take off our own mask and begin to look at each other with an understanding that does not require knowledge, but rather a compassionate heart. Maybe if we took off our own mask, we could begin to avoid teaching others to wear one.

Maybe if we took off our own #mask, we could clearly see other's needs. via @caregivermom #InspireMeMonday Click To Tweet

Maybe we could get rid of the need for a beggar’s face!


Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I found inspiration for my Monday at #InspireMeMonday. Check out the great posts! Click To Tweet

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!

Take a moment to visit Angie, the other hostesses, too!

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