Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings. - Walt Disney

The Wicked Queen of Disney's Snow White looked into her mirror each day and asked, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall...who' s the fairest of them all?"

"Why you are, My Queen," replied the mirror. Yet the Queen asked the mirror this same question everyday because she didn't believe the answer. For many human beings when they look in a mirror, what they see isn't what they feel, and if you don't feel young, healthy and beautiful, you will never be satisfied with your reflection in the mirror. You won't believe your answer.

If you don't like what you see, then your self-esteem begins to go down. You might feel fat, or see a wrinkle or a gray hair, or no hair. You may notice less sparkle in your eyes, less smiling and more frowns, and you may see an aging you. So you drink more diet colas every day. Maybe tomorrow your mirror will tell you that you are thinner. And you save your money for that breast implant, hair replacement treatment, teeth whitening and surgical face-lift. You take the diet pills and smoke too many cigarettes to replace your hunger.

What if, just WHAT IF, you stopped looking in the mirror? What if, just WHAT IF, you starting judging yourself by how you feel? What if, just WHAT IF, you decided that your weight might not be as low as you'd like but you are energetic and healthy, and you can buy great looking clothes in your larger size. What if, just WHAT IF, you never saw your laugh wrinkles in the mirror, and it didn't matter anyway, because you are always laughing.

What if, just WHAT IF, you never judge yourself by how you look, but by how you feel?

In the countries where mirrors do not exist or where there are fewer mirrors in the house, people are more secure with themselves and less acquisitive; they are less judgmental of others, and are over-all more pleasant individuals.

In the countries where mirrors do not exist or where there are fewer mirrors in the house, people listen to one another more, they read more, they paint and garden for pleasure and relaxation, and they have a less stressful lifestyle than people in the countries dominated by mirrors.

Mirrors are found hanging on the walls of massive urban sprawl. They hang in the countries that raise their young to entertain themselves at the shopping malls, places where you find mirrors in every shop and dressing room, and lining every fluorescent-illuminated hallway. Mirrors capture the reflection of both the young and old who sit and play hours upon hours of video games, and mirrors are regally framed from life size to pocket size in the countries where people focus more on a diet of artificial food chemicals promising youth and thinness than wellness and inner joy.

If you look in your mirror often, you are conditioned to ask the mirror if you are undernourished, stressed, tired, insecure, depressed, or unmotivated. If you rarely look into a mirror, you probably ask yourself if are you energetic, creative, happy, innovative, up beat and optimistic.

What if, just WHAT IF, you never judge yourself by how you look, but by how you feel?

Here's some food for thought - I have a beautifully illustrated book of Aesop's Fables, and it is hard to determine which is my favorite. But two of the fables apply very well to this article - "The Dog and His Reflection" and "The Stag and His Reflection."

"The Dog and His Reflection" [sic]
A dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone, was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy dog thought he saw a real dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own.

If he had stopped to think, he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid dog he had been.

"The Stag and His Reflection" [sic]

A stag, drinking from a crystal spring, saw himself mirrored in the clear water. He greatly admired the graceful arch of his antlers, but he was very much ashamed of his spindling legs.

"How can it be," he sighed, "that I should be cursed with such legs when I have such a magnificent crown."

At that moment, he scented a panther, and in an instant was bounding away through the forest. But as he ran, his wide-spreading antlers caught in the branches of the trees, and soon the panther overtook him. Then the stag perceived that the legs of which he was so ashamed would have saved him had it not been for the useless ornaments on his head.

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall...who' s the fairest of them all?"

What mirror?

Posted December 2008 | Permanent Link

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