Yogis wear robes, Doctors wear lab coats, which are a modernized version of a robe. Cops wear badges and security wears dark colors. Fathers grow bears to solidify authority.
And what all of these costumes do is provide a sense of identity. Identity is useful for those who wear the masks, but also for those who engage with the mask-wearers.
I do this too. I wear ties when I want to be seen as someone respectable, someone worthy of being heard. I wear contacts over glasses if I need to look someone in the eye, if I’m selling something, if there’s trust involved.
Beneath these costumes, there are people. It seems an obvious statement, but it’s easy to forget that the doctor doing your physical is worried about his child being bullied. The meditation teacher that seems to flow out of her robes is thinking about how they can lose weight.
We’d do well to remember who we are when we’re not in costume. Harder to define, but endless in our multitudes.