If you’ve ever unexpectedly come face-to-face with a mirror, you know how uncomfortable that can be. This is true physically. You might realize that you did need to run a brush through your hair and dab on some lipstick. But it is also true emotionally.
Maybe you considered yourself witty, but when someone else’s sarcasm startles you, you recognize that you were actually being cruel. Perhaps you dismissed your relaxed attitude as “being chilled” but when you don’t get the paperwork you desperately need by a certain time, you realize that you were, in reality, irresponsible.
I faced a mirror last evening. I was listening to a podcast that I favor. The host tends to introduce topics that interest me and he usually has two or three guests experts. While I’ve heard a number of his podcasts, this time I recognized a pattern. This particular host expects his guests to validate his views. When they disagree with him or challenge some of his beliefs, he talks over them, puts words in their mouths, and ignores inconvenient facts they raise. I don’t remember ever hearing him end a show with a different frame of mind than he started it.
Mirror, mirror on the wall? I, too, hold strong opinions. I try to form them based on listening to many sides of an issue, but I don’t easily change my mind once I have come to a conclusion. I struggle to focus single mindedly on hearing someone articulate a different view without planning my rebuttal as they speak. I imagine that I, too, latch on to the easily dismissed part of an opposing argument while paying less heed to a more firmly rooted objection.
Mirrors sometimes show us that our self-image is not identical to reality. In a murky world, mirrors can be valuable indeed.
Did you know that the Hebrew word for prayer reflects
how it serves us as a mirror?
Explore 29 Hebrew words and become familiar
with the Hebrew alphabet.
Both books on sale this week.