Who You Looking At?
“Stop looking at me,” said the mirror to the wall.
“I’m not looking at you,” replied the wall. “I’m just standing here holding up the house. Why do you think people are always looking at you? You need to quit being so paranoid.”
And so it goes with the poor mirror. No matter where he looked, no matter what time of day, or whether it was Wednesday or Saturday, he sensed that people were not just glancing his way but staring. He tried to remember how long he’d been feeling like this, like not just people, but everything—bedspreads, pictures, desks, even the rug were all gaping at him! Had there ever been a time when he could just wake up and not feel so exposed? It seemed that even the sun was the first one each day to take a peek.
The mirror mused, wondering what he needed to do to stop the constant gawking in his direction. “I don’t understand,” he said to the wall. “Why can’t you look some place else—like maybe out of the window. Isn’t that a better view?”
“For the last time I’m telling you I’m not looking at you! Even if I was you should be flattered. The only time anyone looks my way is if they see a mark that they want to scrub away or if I have a nice piece of art having on me. Hey, have you ever thought that maybe you have some redeeming attributes that people want to look at? It could be much worse you know. I typically get painted over every 10-15 years or if some new person moves in. Maybe someone hangs some dinky wallpaper on me every now and then. Sometimes I get knocked out completely. Rarely does anyone come over and clean and shine me. And here you are complaining about being peered at.”
The mirror paused for a moment and pondered the observations of the wall. Maybe he did possess some noteworthy characteristics. First there was the beautiful frame that encased him. That was definitely worth a gaze. And he did shine brightly especially in the morning sun. Then there was the reflection he provided. As a mirror, he wasn’t like a regular piece of furniture or even art that just sat or hung there most of the time. People could look at him and see their reflections—women applied makeup or checked their hair in his presence. Clothes were adjusted or an entire outfit changed. Teeth were checked, brushed and flossed. Some faces bore frowns, others tearful although more often than not, people displayed radiant, beautiful smiles. In fact, the mirror thought he evoked a wide range of emotions in people.
As the mirror deliberated further, he’d noticed people performed all sorts of things in front of him. There were a variety of dances, moves and poses, a trying out of speeches, practice interviews, and even some proposals. Sometimes people placed candles in front of him so the reflected light brightened an entire room. There were others who created altars in front of the mirror with crosses, pictures of loved ones, statutes, fruit, flowers, boxes, all kind of icons. Many people had even prayed before him.
Finally the mirror commented to the wall, “I guess you have a point. I have a purpose. There is a reason for my being. People aren’t just staring. I serve them by reflecting an image or providing some kind of symbol. Now that I think about it, maybe not everyone and everything is gawking at me. I didn’t realize I was so self-conscious. It feels great to know I am being of service to others.”
“Precisely,” said the wall. “We are fulfilling our functions, our calling in this moment. Trust me my friend—enjoy it while you can. Nothing last forever.” And so it goes. The mirror and wall continued to peacefully co-exist being what they were created to be.
Have you been looking into someone else’s mirror? Is your perception of your purpose distorted by what you think others are doing or saying? Are you aware of all the ways you are of service to others? Have you discovered your purpose? What were you created to be? Perhaps taking a few moments to ponder these questions might lead you to uncover more of the peace in your heart.