The Man in the Mirror

July 10, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the legacies of Steve McNair and Michael Jackson should be.  Should they be known for what they did on stage or after everybody had gone home?  It got me thinking about my own life and how I want to be remembered.  It also got me thinking about how good I can be at putting on a show.

I think that I will remember Jackson and McNair for what they did in public and everything that became public.  The reason I will remember them in this manner is because it is the context in which I knew them.  Even though they never knew me, I grieve for them.  I grieve because they were a part of my life, they  were going through painful stuff and because I liked both of them very much.  As I attempt to make sense of all the recent events, I am reminded once again of how fragile life is.  I’m also reminded of how fragile we are and the sin which so easily entangles.

I’ve always been intrigued by Jackson.  He was such a talented and strange man.  Before his death, I was asking a friend what she thought of him.  She responded that he needed to take an updated look at the man in the mirror.  We’re told to make time for our spouse and family and kids.  Perhaps it is also a good idea to schedule regular appointments with ourselves.


I had a work-study job at an elementary school a few years back.  The teacher was doing a unit on poetry and asked me to bring a poem to read to the group of fourth graders.  I don’t know why I got so choked up reading the thing, but it might be because I took the words so seriously.  It’s been a long time since I took such a hard glance at who I am and who I am becoming.  Now is as good a time as any to force myself to take another look.

I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself up in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.

I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m for bluster and bluff and empty show.

I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself — and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

Myself by Edgar Guest

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Category: Musings

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