Everybody knows the fairy tale of Snow White and the catchy rhyme that the Evil Queen repeats every morning to her mirror: “Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?”.
Every morning, in the tale, the Evil Queen receives back from the mirror the same answer: “You, my Queen”, but -as Snow White grows up- one day the mirror reveals the Queen she is no longer the fairest in the land, for the beauty and grace of Snow White are far beyond the conceited queen. And the mirror never lies. It is not able to.
The tale is notorious: at that moment the Evil Queen begins to become jealous and starts threatening Snow White in every way. Since fairy tales always have a happy ending, Snow White survives to every attempt of the Evil Queen and marries the Prince, long living with him.
It is worth noting that the mirror never lies. And that everything in the tale starts when the Evil Queen faces the truth, refusing to acknowledge the evidence of it.
The issue of truth has been thoroughly investigated across centuries: religions, philosophies, sciences, all of them being a tool the human being grasped seeking for the evidence of it.
And, at the same time, history is plenty of the narration of conflicts, wars, dominations, misunderstandings and so on.
The main temptation could be that one to say there is no truth.
Most parts of people try to reach a compromise, a kind of balance, assuming that there is personal truth and therefore life is an equilibrium between individuals’ truth.
History showed across ages that claiming that there is no truth brings at the same extreme point in which humankind is brought by those who claim there is only a personal truth: individualism.
Individualism is that kind of attitude that roots in the denial of mirroring.
Of course, we don’t have a magic mirror -and this is good because for sure we wouldn’t be the fairest in the land, and this would be very unpleasant…
Yet, we have the great gift to mirror ourselves in others. Every day. In every circumstance.
It is funny noting that we all think others are the Evil Queen, ready to poison us with an apple: a bad temper in answering us, a betrayal, a robbery, etc.
We are the good ones. We never fail! We don’t like to see us as the evil character of our own tale…
If we would really like to make our lives evolving and society growing, we should try to expand our capability to sense the reflection that our behavior stimulates in others.
And there we all would for sure find a lot of stuff that would sound new for us. Sounding a bit shaming, probably.
In a second time, of course, we could turn to our mirror, that one we all say hello to ourselves every morning when we wash up our face.
And yes, after that kind of practice, acknowledging that we are good fellows, and probably we don’t deserve all the pain that relationships give us as a burden.
But this is no guarantee of an easy life.
One time a man claimed himself to be the way, the truth the life. People decided to crucify him rather than mirroring in him. That man was Jesus.
Whatever belief everyone of us may have or not, this is how we are hardwired: mirrors are so scary, as martial artists and aikidoka know every time face their partners.