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A world without mirrors

April 11th, 2006

I have made a blog once about how our little ones can lead us in discovering life’s simple pleasures. I should say that it’s not only life’s simple pleasures but also great lessons in life.

Just this morning my baby Maia again led me into another great discovery. She insisted for me to sit with her and watch her favorite morning show at Nickelodeon Jr channel. There was this short musical cartoon (ala MTV) that really impressed me. It’s a song sung by the musical group Sweet Honey in the Rock about the influence adults have in forming attitudes of respect and wonder in their children and grandchildren.

No Mirrors In My Nana’s House
(Lyrics by Ysaye Maria Barnwell (c)1992)

There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
There were no mirrors in my Na’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).

I never knew that my skin was too black.
I never knew that my nose was too flat.
I never knew that my clothes didn’t fit.
I never knew there were things that I’d missed,
cause the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun);
…was in her eyes.

There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).

I was intrigued by the cracks in the walls.
I tasted, with joy, the dust that would fall.
The noise in the hallway was music to me.
The trash and the rubbish just cushioned my feet.
And the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
…was in her eyes.

There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).

The world outside was a magical place.
I only knew love.
I never knew hate,
and the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
…was in her eyes.

There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house,
no mirrors in my Nana’s house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).

“Chil’, look deep into my eyes.”
“Chil’, look deep into my eyes.”
“Chil’…”

Imagine it – a world without mirrors, where we would not see ourselves reflected as too anything – fat, skinny, plain, pretty, white, black, rich, poor. Perhaps if we were mirrored only in the eyes of those who loved and cherished us, we would have less need to put others “in their place” or to carry on with our prejudices, grudges, hatreds, and fears.

Indeed, we come to realize that we are more our children’s pupils than we are teachers to them. If only we follow what they teach us.

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  1. April 17th, 2006 at 10:17 | #1

    Hi Sam: If it were to me, I believe every scientists worth his cent whould make some study and inquiry on the general blisfulness of children and find out that formula on true happiness and genuine character…That way we can have a better world.

    Actually, even as a grown up, I used to watch Nickoledeon regularly and watch some very funny shows like Gula-Gula Island and that show where two black kids are starring—they’re really funny…And they’re informative too.

  2. April 20th, 2006 at 15:15 | #2

    @Major Tom: Maia always wanted to have me watch her favorite cartoon shows together with her. And most of these shows never fail to impress upon me a lot of simple yet beautiful lessons in life.

  3. Kerry
    September 22nd, 2006 at 06:22 | #3

    I caught that little song while I was about to take the kids to school in the morning and the tune has been stuck in my head ever since.

    The thing about mirrors many people seem to forget is that when looking in a mirror we don’t really see who we are as mirrors show a false image of ourselves, they are a reverse image, as we see when we hold written text up to it. People wonder why they look so different in a photo than in a mirror and often exclaim “eww that photos horrrible”.That is because they are used to the reverse image in the mirror and not their true image that is seen in a photo. In fact the camera catches the real us the mirror lies. Perhaps that explains why so many live their lives like their mirror image ‘false’.
    Perhaps we need to look more on the inside of ourselves than the outside.

  4. Jay
    October 20th, 2006 at 04:13 | #4
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