August 21, 2019

Archives for May 2, 2014

The Practice of Life (Part 5): Managing the Mask

rhodesWearing a professional mask is one of the tools of our trade. We don’t do that out of hypocrisy, but to meet the demands of our work. We’ve got a lot to do. Our masks keep us on track. We need that.

Here’s what psychologist Edward Edinger says about the benefits of professional personas, both to ourselves and the society we serve:

Now of what value is awareness of the persona to the individual and society? Here again, as with all self-knowledge, both the individual and society benefit. You see, it commonly happens that, to a greater or lesser extent, one is identified with one’s persona. It is so convenient. It is hard enough to acquire competence in a professional career, and once that has been achieved, the satisfactions of that achievement are so significant that there is a strong tendency to identify with that professional role.

The minister learns an appropriate persona as he goes through theological seminary, and then starts his first job as assistant pastor; the medical student learns the medical persona; the lawyer learns hers, and so on. And once that is learned, things work so smoothly when operating out of it that there’s a strong tendency to identify with it. But the trouble is, for society as a whole, that when one meets one’s doctor, or one’s pastor, or one’s lawyer, or whatever, one isn’t meeting a full human being. You meet the mask.

All that is understandable.… [I]t takes too much time to be real. It is much easier to function out of your [professional] persona. The great advantage of it, though temporary, is that it doesn’t take any effort, you don’t have to respond out of the deeper human realities. So you can get more work done in a day…. It takes much more time to listen… and respond humanly, and then you get way behind in your schedule.

From Science of the Soul:

So far so good, but it’s not hard to spot the downside. there is more to us than our professional masks. There are times when we need to take them off, when we need to “be real” and not be identified with our professional persona, when other people need to meet “a full human being” and we need to respond to them “out of the deeper human realities” of who we are.

Managing the mask begins with self-awareness. As Prof. Edinger says “If self-knowledge is to proceed and if individuals are going to achieve a full, well-rounded personality, it is important that they realize the reality of the persona.” Wear the mask or don’t wear the mask, but do so consciously, because “it makes a world of difference whether you’re doing something consciously or unconsciously, because choice is involved.”

There’s that word “choice” again. Choice is essential to regaining that sense of control we’ve been talking about – which in turn is essential to promoting our happiness, both on the job and away from it.

To be continued.

Kevin Rhodes is a lawyer in private practice and a registered mentor with the Colorado Supreme Court’s CAMP program. He offers career coaching for lawyers and leads workshops for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Solo and Small Firm Section and the Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. You can email Kevin at

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/1/2014

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Evans v. Patton

United States v. Alvarez

Lofstedt v. Kendall

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

SB 14-207: Providing that Contributions to Pooled Trusts by Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older Are Not Transfers Without Fair Consideration for Purposes of Medicaid Eligibility

On April 17, 2014, Sen. Nancy Todd introduced SB 14-207 – Concerning Contributions to Pooled Trusts by Individuals Who Are 65 Years of Age or Older. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The transfer of assets by an individual who is 65 years of age or older to a pooled trust does not constitute a transfer without fair consideration. The department of health care policy and financing (department) shall not delay an individual’s eligibility for medical assistance or otherwise penalize an individual for entering into a joinder agreement, transfer agreement, or other agreement to transfer assets to a pooled trust so long as an actuarially sound spending plan is submitted with the agreement to the department or to a county department of social services that is responsible for acceptance of Medicaid applications.

The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee.

SB 14-206: Relocating and Amending the Statutes Related to the Sealing of Criminal Records

On April 17, 2014, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced SB 14-206 – Concerning Criminal Record Sealing Provisions, and, in Connection Therewith, Relocating the Record Sealing Provisions in a New Part, Clarifying When an Arrest Record Can be Sealed, and Making Other Clarifying Changes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill moves the sealing of criminal records statutes into a new part and reorganizes the statutes. The bill allows a person to seal an arrest record if they are not charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations has not run, but the person is no longer being investigated by law enforcement.

On April 23 the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and sent it to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading. On April 25, the bill passed 2nd Reading with amendments.

Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Third Reading, with no amendments.