The Noble Façade

Samantha - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on October 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Few people can differentiate what is being fake and what is a façade. To be fake, there’s a lack of depth behind the subject and often, being fake is triggered by having selfish needs. For example many youth want to impress or maintain an image or be something they aren’t. It’s selfish, because it lacks the honesty and genuine emotions behind them, and it renders them fake. In a façade it’s quite different. Façades are often put up to protect something, or to stave off a reality. Standing up to protect something is more than just a mask, it’s a shield, which only the bravest people could even hope to uphold. I believe in the noble façade.

A façade often implies that the individual has neither strong feelings nor motives behind their mask. But deeper intentions are waiting beneath the surface of the mask.

Since I was a little girl, I had been taught to hold my tongue, but other than the threat of corporal punishment, I never understood why. That was only until I reached my teens, as all teenagers do, we all felt manipulated. Most teens voice their upsets to their parents, regardless of consequences or how cruel the statement was. I’ve listened to stories from friends and relatives about their resentment, carelessly and vindictively saying that they hated their parents or criticized them harshly. It seemed so easy to get back at the world.

Yet, I never liked that. I never wanted to become a problem for anyone, let alone hurt my mother or the rest of my family by showing them my unhappiness. My mother had good intentions when she was raising me, but how would she have known she hurt me with her own actions. I took this into account before most children knew what it meant to see eye to eye. So I just smiled when I was hurt or felt like my world was crumbling. I smiled and laughed because I needed to shield the ones I loved, hoping to protect them from me and to inspire warm feelings.

When my friends faced their toughest years, feeling closed and surrounded by tumult, I couldn’t add to their troubles with my own. Now they often commend me because I’m always happy, and I was their pillar of support because it seemed that I never had problems and could always talk to them about theirs. This is my reward, to both protect them and help them.

Love makes me smile when I feel like I’m going to shatter, because protecting people from what isn’t their burden is brave. I’m not saying that I do not have my scars or my burdens now, but I can smile honestly knowing I am stronger now and also protecting people in the most modest way I can: without them knowing. A façade is not a shallow mask, but it is an ability to make a difference in a very brave way. For this I believe in the noble façade.