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See Yourself – See Your World

A Reflection: • Image, representation, counterpart… • Fixing the thoughts on something, careful consideration… • The return of light heat, sound after striking a surface… • The bending or folding back of a part upon itself… Since the beginning of civilization we have sought to see ourselves. We looked for mirror images in still pools of water or polished metal shields. We sought to see our inner selves in our heroes and our gods. Then we started creating images and ideals that reflected our dreams, desires and aspirations. So what did all that get us? Reflections of reflections? Distortions of our true selves? I had a stimulating email exchange with a dear friend about the way people interpret the advice given by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet, “to thine ownself be true…” and he commented that the way the quote is understood is a study in how people see things based on their own belief systems. (I’d love to know how you interpret that quote – email me or comment below.) Our understanding of culture, business culture included, depends on our self awareness and how we perceive ourselves. I think how we perceive art, philosophy, heroes, morals, religion, you name it, is a reflection of how we see ourselves and a key to understanding culture and how it evolves. Reflection requires distance and another surface on which to project an image, be it a pool of water or an idea. We PROJECT our own judgments, fears, hopes, experiences onto the other and then we REFLECT on them, often without recognizing ourselves in the reflected image. If you are looking...