"I have five. Do I hear six hundred? Seven hundred dollars? Do I hear eight?"
The auctioneer asked for higher and higher bids, and my hopes of buying the mirrors slipped away.
At an art auction I had found a set of old mirrors. That's a photo of them. That's the shiny, reflective side you're looking at. Not too clear? That's what happens to mirrors that are 2,000 years old. They were fashioned in China and Korea, and some of them were made as early as 200 B.C. What did they look like when they were brand new? Even the shiniest metal gives a poor reflection compared to today's mirrors.
My bathroom mirror gives a crystal-clear image, but it's reversed. If I touch my right ear, my reflection touches her left ear. The image is perfectly accurate but completely backward. When I look at my reflection through the lens of over forty years of cultural messages and propaganda, my thinking is often backward because I believe that parts of my body are ugly.
But our bodies are amazing. Especially in youth, they function beautifully. Blood is oxygenated and cleaned. Nerve cells send signals to the brain that are interpreted and acted upon at lightning speed. The brain stem tells my heart to beat so that my frontal cortex is free to think about theology or how to get out of cooking supper tonight. But the culture says that this amazing body that runs and sings and eats is not good enough.
The culture is like a corroded, two thousand year old mirror. It shows you a distorted image. It's not the real you. An ancient mirror may go for over $1,000 at auction. But the real you is priceless.