Reflections… on a personal note

Self vs Other, or the Other Self?

 

In 1971, Pink Floyd released the song ‘Echoes’ which includes the lines ‘Strangers passing in the street/By chance two separate glances meet/And I am you and what I see is me.’

 

The other is the self.

 

From Hamlet and Robinson Crusoe to Frankenstein, Jane Eyre and Jekyll and Hyde, classic English literature (and I would be willing to bet almost all literature) gives us the message that as human beings we need other people. Without them, we fall apart.

 

We lose our sense of self with no other to reflect back at us.

 

Yet so many political and economic ideologies of the current age seek to divide us and to make us fear others. And if we fear others, then that fear is something we carry in ourselves.

 

But we are all merely reflections of one another.

 

You don’t believe me?

 

OK.

 

Walk out of the nearest door and smile at the first stranger you meet.

 

What happens next?

 

Matthew Tildesley
February 2019

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