Oliver suggests to me that the difference between having a good life and a miserable one could lie in whether or not one looks at themselves in the mirror. He goes on to make his point by saying that it also depends on how you look into the mirror, because manner in which you present yourself in front of a mirror determines your conclusions.
You see, there are people who stand in front of a mirror with a disappointed face. They cannot understand why what they had seen in the mirrors of their minds has not manifested in this mirror they are looking at. It frustrates them that they are not as they would like to be. That their nose is too wide or too thin. Or it seems to be on the left or right more than smack in the middle of their face. They seem to be uncomfortable about the fact that their nostrils could fit coins. Most people have a problem with their noses, but that’s besides the point. The point is, these people love mirrors, because they can keep attempting to correct the image to match their mental reflection.
There are others who are surprised. Maybe because they shaved off their eyebrows only to draw them back on and somehow, from a far, they seem the same. So now they think that either this is how its supposed to be or they’ve completely missed the point. Sometimes they are surprised when they wipe the make-up off their face and see themselves for who they really are. And they realise that they’re not so bad after all so they wonder what the point of all this was. Some are surprised that the person looking back at them is them. Because they have been in front of mirrors before but they have never quite paid attention. They too love mirrors, because when you have a question you must look for the answers.
Then we have those who muse and blush at themselves, not very much unlike how one does when the person they staring at is excessively beautiful and charming. Its similar to your behaviour when you meet your crush. You see yourself and you fall in love, or you love what you see, or both. But you also appreciate what you see and don’t like. Because you understand that just because your nose is leaning to one side doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not taking in 21% oxygen. And for this reason, such people also love mirrors.
Lastly, we have people who don’t look at mirrors, they look into them. Yes they see their images and notice the awkward position of their noses, but they see more than that. They see their fears and strengths, their gains and losses, their dreams and their hopes. They make realisations about themselves and the meaning of their lives. They look into mirrors to remind themselves who they are. These sort of people don’t love mirrors… they love themselves. Because loving yourself is not about your nose or the size of your nostrils alone, it is about connecting with yourself deeply. So deep that you almost always make a realisation as a result.
What I found interesting in this whole story is that Oliver wasn’t talking about mirrors and their reflections. He was talking about people.