Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Ugly in the Mirror

Mirrors are horrible things, because they show the unblinking truth, which is that we are often ugly, angry, racist, greedy, vain, superficial, combative, cowardly, and self-serving.

Who wants to see that? No one!

And so, we surround ourselves with sycophants, friends, employees, and board members who believe in exactly the same thing and reinforce what we want to think about ourselves and others.

I have no doubt that in Hitler's bunker and Stalin's dacha they agreed they were all good people working for the good of all.

Is it any different inside the board rooms of Union Carbide or Weyerhaeuser, Vale Mining or Microsoft, Pfizer, or Maxwell House?

Those of us who are mere mortals have to make do with dogs. They are the mirrors that tells us we are wonderful leaders, kind and good, smart and wise. God forbid we should ever look into the mirror and see the faults, the ugly bits, the flashes of cowardice, the reaching rationalizations, laziness, and grasping nature of our own lives.

Oh yes, we are always ready to see the good, the beauty, the brief flash of charity.  But the other stuff? Not so much.

How much energy do we spend not observing that which is right in front of us?

And yet, on the other side, are those who think those with the loudest voices are winning the argument. Who can shout the loudest, type the longest, and send the most direct mail? Who can grab the mic, aim the klieg light, and get one million hits on Twitter inside of a week?

The gorilla pounds on his chest and says "I am here and I am powerful."

Are we not simply a weaker, less hirsute ape?

Is it merely vanity that says we have a soul rather than a genetic code wrapped like a watch spring curled up tight and tense inside of us, ready to rise up and strike any that dares put a true mirror in front of us?

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