Meeting people is like walking up to a new mirror

Despite what we may think about "knowing ourselves" and knowing who we are, we can only understand who we really are from the reflection of ourselves in other people's eyes. The only way that the Universe perceives us is through observation of others and in that way it's a bit of a Schroedinger's cat going on. The observed is influenced by the observers and it has no other state than the observed one.

To put it differently, if there was nobody around us, would we really know who we are?

So every new person we meet is like a new mirror that we face and it shows us an image of ourselves that is always to some extent different than any other mirror. Some are more precise reflection of the actual molecules that we are really composed of while others are more "kind" to our imperfections, physical and otherwise. And of course, just for fun, there are the hall of mirrors distorting mirrors that show us grotesquely different than reality and those are just that - only fun but not something a person would say "I need plastic surgery pronto because of what I saw in that mirror".

And when we meet people what do we expect and what would we want to see? As accurate a reflection of reality as possible or do we prefer a "kinder mirror" when it comes to our faults? This goes to the crux of the matter because it answers at the same time the question of what kind of a mirror should we ourselves be.

If I have a wart on my face, would I rather know it so I can deal with it or would I rather not know and spend the rest of my days not being aware of the imperfection?

It ultimately depends to a large extent on whether the flaw is fixable or not - if we have a poppyseed between our teeth we want our friends to tell us so we can get rid of it. If we have a permanent disfigurement, it really is pointless for anyone to say "Don't mean to put you on the spot but do you realize you have an ear missing?"

Things are comparatively easy when it comes to physical as opposed to the issues of character, personality, behavior. Do we value a more an accurate reflection or one that makes us feel better?

Do we really want the mirror on the wall to tell us the way things are?

P.S. Late addition - leave it to a country song to put it in right words - "I wanna be the kind of man a mirror likes to see."


Char said…
Enjoyed the leave me much to ponder.
Miljenko Horvat said…
Pondering camels and salmon will get you nowhere I guarantee! He he
Vesna Dukic said…
Budi vjeran covjeku u OGLEDALU!

vEsNa (malo iskrivljeno?) Bitan je sadrzaj!
(manje je VISE)!!!
Susan Schively said…
Break the mirrors. The lack of mirrors doesn't negate our existence, and the presence of mirrors doesn't necessarily improve our existence. If we don't know who we are without the mirrors, we will never know who we are.

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