This slice is inpired by a story that appeared on a news show several months ago. It was about a young woman that decided to eliminate mirrors of any kind from her life for a period of at least one year. She was engaged at the time and even wed the love of her life within this time span. The story stuck with me and wiggled its way back into my memory this week. We had just hung a mirror in our school hallway…the purpose seemed appropriate. Our goal was to allow students to look, check, reflect about their appearance for the school day, since we have a dress code. A code is supposed to be followed and we wanted to engage students in monitoring themselves. The kids welcomed the mirror like it was an old friend. I was doubting the success of it at first; would students make faces, touch it with dirty fingers and be silly? No, they respected it, just as they gained more respect each time for themselves as they gazed into it.
I believe it was there on the wall for four days and then the mirror was quickly taken away. A maintenance worker in just a few seconds unscrewed each of the six screws, balanced it on his shoulder like it was a bag of potatoes, and walked quickly up the hallway. I couldn’t believe the emotions that evoked…our mirror was being taken. I heard a student ask, “What are you doing with the mirror?” I hurried to the hallway and heard him mumble something about insurance codes. “OHHH, I felt the disappointment as the little boy frowned as he walked back to class.”
Over the course of the next two days, I bet I heard thirty students ask, “where’s the mirror? I miss it!” I would respond in a serious positive way, “it needed safety glass to meet insurance codes, it will return soon.” I am pondering the importance of reflections of all sorts. There are reflections of our physical selves when gazing into a mirror, serious thoughts about our life, ideas that flow into our minds, etc. Reflections are a key piece of living each day.
The absence of the mirror triggered my memory of the young woman without mirrors for one whole year. I remembered the reporter asking her what she had learned from her experience. She had written about her thoughts during this time and published them in a novel. She responded to the reporter, “I needed to build confidence in myself and I had. She realized that inner reflections are so much more important than the outer ones. I knew those things. I made a realization that glass mirrors can see those inner reflections, they show through outward appearance. I am not vain by any means, but this week when our mirror walked away -it made me stop and think. Reflections each day are so important to living better honest lives. I never thought those six empty wall anchors in the concrete blocks would stir up such a hollow empty feeling within myself and the students on our hall. Good-bye mirror until you appear again!