The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr., published 1934
At the end of the day, when we are alone in the bathroom we should take our time and look ourselves straight in the eye. We should stand there and like what we see; we should stand there with sincerity and confidence -without guilt or shame.
Charles Dickens started his famous novel “David Copperfield,” with the words:
WHETHER I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
It took me a while until I fully understood the meaning. In my 20’s and 30’s, I was busy pleasing other people. I wasn’t the hero of my life back then; I was too busy making other’s happy that I forgot my happiness. The judgment of others was important to me. I wanted to be loved; I wanted to be respected and liked.
Later on in life, I learned that other people do not define who I am. That’s when I started to believe in myself, kept my self-esteem high, loved and valued myself. I became my most critical and yet most compassionate appraiser.
There are still days when I have a hard time looking myself in the eye; I am not a saint, I have my moments. I have done -and will do things- that I am not proud of. But overall I hope I live my life the way I intended to. Today I hold this station.
We might be able to pretend and lie to others -and social media is a great tool to do so- but at the end of the day we can’t cheat the man in the glass.