Why Do We Have Mirrors? To See How People See Us

Lets start with this embarrassing fact. You and I can’t stop thinking about what people think about us.

Eleanor Roosevelt — no beauty herself — put it well when she offered this advice for the ages: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” To confirm this, think how much more you think about you instead of them. We are each born with — some bestow the sophisticated rubric ‘evolutionary compulsion for self-preservation’ — a desperately needy ego. From the moment we are oozed out of our mother’s body and given all that parental attention, we come to expect it. Need it. Seek it.

Turns out the world beyond the nursery isn’t all that interested in what we need. I mean, each of us is a mere 1/7 billionth part of the scene. A scene which playwright Sean O’Casey grumbled: “If all the world is a stage, most of us are terribly unrehearsed!” Suggesting why from a bare-chested Vladimir Putin to a bare- breasted Miley Cyrus, our under-nourished egos are all groping around for a spotlight.

If your character in this comedy is still wondering what the other cast members are thinking, the answer is: Not much! Americans spend more time and money on building new sports stadiums than new hospitals and schools…the state of Iowa now grants gun permits to the blind…the state of Colorado has installed interactive urinals in several bars which test a man’s inebriation level…the number of people caring for aging parents and peers has grown to 40% with barely any corresponding growth in training …more than half of high school seniors have no idea WWII occurred in the 20th C…dementia rates are declining except for those reports which say its rising…coffee is good for us but only when it’s not bad for us…and don’t even get me started about what dueling research teams say about Omega 3!

Here’s the thing. If our fragile egos need attention — and they always seem to — perhaps there is some way to sublimate our individual egos into that universal ego otherwise known as Humanity. To once and for all start to realize our world is now so small, there really is no more ‘me” but only “we.” Just ask any astronaut who has seen this for himself from space.

I mean, from up there neither Vlad nor Miley nor the Kardashians look all that significant. Come on folks, lets get a grip! Our little play down here is already well into its third act.

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