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Starting with the Man, or Woman, in the Mirror

By Steve Wickham

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways, and no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place."—Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror, 1988.

This song is deeply spiritual as it talks in essence about one's relationship with self—the God linkage—for one cannot truly know him or herself without knowing God, the Maker of the being.

When we think about it, there are many things that cause us frustration in this life—the way the world is and how everything works, and indeed, how we perceive it to be falling apart. To live without hope; that's just an obvious default. It's easy to fall into this thinking. We only have to watch the News habitually.

Yet, when all of that is stripped away and we simply come; coming to the mirror, to gaze at the person responsible for living a clean, simple life, we see that the changes we desire with the world really lie at base, with us. We are the only ones we can change. And to make any real impact on the world we can only do so if we put ourselves in order, fundamentally to our core—our meaning, our purpose, our centred being.

When we strip the world away—by staring into that mirror—everything for that time is introspection. A whole world of positive change beckons in this one being we're responsible for.

And when we hook into this vision of the self and what the self can do to right itself, we begin clamouring for humility and the little growth steps that, for a time, forget the sordid world outside its doors. The focus is inside; spiritual spring-cleaning has taken root. And freed we are of the anxiousness that 'the world' foists upon us.

Suddenly—and strangely—we're happier. We see a thing to change and we do so. We are blessed; commensurately, a tad confident. Then the next thing is done, and the next and so on. During the rebuilding and spiritual renovation phase we're hardly worried about the world at all—it all pales into insignificance.

Then the strangest thing happens; our faith blooming, and at more peace than we've experienced in years, we begin to see the world as it has always been—a most beautiful place with hardly a wrinkle; we even see the vast good that people are doing. The rubbish is inconsequential.

The man (or woman) in the mirror—with an all-patient God assisting—can do all this! .

Steve Wickham is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, MSIA, RSP) and a qualified, unordained Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His blogs are at: and
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