One of the most common cries of the human heart is: "No one understands me." All of us, at one time or another, have expressed the frustration of the inner man with these solemn words. It is not merely a statement of self-pity, as we are often told, but the honest realization that we live lives of quiet desperation. We sense that there is so much more to us than others comprehend, and we yearn for someone to reach and hear us. We see ourselves like actors playing our appointed roles in society and the home, projecting the image our part demands, while the real person we know ourselves to be remains unknown. The example of the clown who weeps behind his mask is familiar to all of us. The desire to "be ourselves" overwhelms us often, but just as often is stifled in the realization that only further misunderstanding and rejection will follow.
This concept of our personalities is not new to modern man. Those who peopled Japan in ancient times had this concept of the soul: "the little man inside." The pygmies of Africa, almost the lowest in the human scale, have a word in their language for soul that means "man on the inside." We often glimpse this undeniable fact and see ourselves imprisoned and isolated while surrounded by those who claim to know and love us. Many have reconciled themselves to a lifetime of loneliness after reaching out without success to others.