Looking in the mirror

A curious mouse visited a carnival that was in town. There were tents that contained attractions the likes of which he had never seen. The mouse entered one tent that was filled with thousands of mirrors in various shapes and sizes. He ran from one to another, fascinated by all of the curious mice smiling back at him. He thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place, full of so many happy mice. I will come here as often as possible.” As he left the tent, he came upon another mouse. “Guess what?” he exclaimed. “I'm not guessing anything. Whadda you want?” the other mouse snapped back. “I have just come from the most amazing place. You'll love it.” “What’s so special about it?” asked the other mouse. “Just see for yourself,” replied the first mouse. “Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Go into that tent over there.”

A curious mouse visited a carnival that was in town. There were tents that contained attractions the likes of which he had never seen. The mouse entered one tent that was filled with thousands of mirrors in various shapes and sizes. He ran from one to another, fascinated by all of the curious mice smiling back at him. He thought...

No sooner had the second mouse entered the tent of mirrors than something startled him and he began to sneer, then growl. Everywhere he turned was a face glaring back at him; hideous, gnarly, scowling faces. “What an awful place this is,” he muttered to himself as he left the tent. “How cruel that mouse was to send me here.” The scared mouse ran from the carnival, cursing the first mouse for being so devious. Every creature he passed along the way sneered and spat in his direction. He thought, “The world is filled with so much unpleasantness.” Yet, this wretched little mouse failed to realize that the world, like the mirrors in the tent, merely reflects back at you what you give to it.

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We’ve all met people with the same attitude as the little mouse and if we are honest with ourselves we might admit that we have had days like the grumpy little creature. I do and when I catch my reflection in a mirror, I am reminded of something a doctor said to me a long time ago when I had just become a nurse. We were both on call in the operating room. We had worked all night on one emergency case after another and we still had to stay for our morning cases. Everyone was tired and ill and for some reason I took upon myself to try to cheer my co-workers up with encouraging words. One of the nurses asked me how I could keep an upbeat attitude when things looked so bleak in the wee hours of the morning. I said, I don’t know, I just do. The doctor standing with us said it was because I saw the glass half full instead of half empty. I was very young and it was the first time someone had pointed out a positive trait in my life. From that day on, I decided that is how I wanted to approach things, because it feels better to acknowledge the best in something or someone instead of the worst. That doesn’t mean you ignore the bad things or accept people’s bad behavior, it just means you deal with it and go on.

My sister-in-law is just the opposite. She says she always expects the worst in people and situations so she won't be disappointed, but that means most of her life is spent anticipating the worst and it is not always pleasant to be around her. Seeing the glass half full isn’t always that easy, but it is possible. It is a matter of daily choices, and if we pay attention we will find that most people and situations we encounter reflect the same attitude in life that we have, just like the little mouse looking in the mirrored glass.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more