The Right Rearview Mirror

In the 1940s many roads were unpaved and had only two lanes, one in each direction. Drivers had to be aware only of traffic on their side and directly behind them (rear view). Due to this, most passenger vehicles with an internal rear-view mirror until the late 1960s had the passenger-side mirror only as an optional addition, as it was considered a luxury. But as more lanes were added, the passenger-side mirror or the right rearview mirror became a necessity for safe driving. However, because of the distance from the driver’s eye to the passenger side mirror, a useful field of view can be achieved only with a convex or aspheric mirror. However, the convexity also minifies the objects shown. Since such objects seem farther away than they actually are, a driver might make a maneuver such as a lane change assuming an adjacent vehicle is a safe distance behind, when in fact it is quite a bit closer. In the United States, Canada, India, Korea and Australia, non-planar mirrors are etched or printed with the warning legend; objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

I was driving on the highway a few days ago in the inside left lane and as I was about to merge back into the right lane, I looked in my rearview mirror and then into my right rearview mirror and that’s when I noticed it like I had never noticed it before! The warning is true: Objects in the mirror (really) are closer than they appear! At that point, I began to think about the way we sometimes look at life. Sometimes, instead of looking at life the way it really is; through the windshield, or even the driver-side or internal rearview mirror, we purposely choose to view life through the right rearview mirror! When we do this, we attempt to fool ourselves into thinking we have more time than we actually have.

The project is almost due, but we have not even started because we’ve been looking in the right rearview mirror, refusing to believe the objects in the mirror are closer than they appear! Retirement is right around the corner, but we have made no real plans because we’ve been looking at life through the right rearview mirror, refusing to accept the fact that the objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. In both of these examples, we actually see the object in view, but instead of accepting the fact that the mirror has made the object appear farther away than it actually is, we choose to accept what we see in the mirror as reality!

I have noticed as of late that there are more people who seem to insist upon looking at death through the right rearview mirror! They really don’t plan for dying! Therefore, they refuse to even think about life insurance or pre-planning for their funeral. They are so busy living that they fail to prepare for dying! They are going through life, looking in the right rearview mirror, refusing to accept the fact that the object (death) in the mirror is closer than it appears!

How about you today? Are you looking at life through the right rearview mirror! Are you forgetting or ignoring the fact that the objects in the right rearview mirror are closer than they appear? One last point: If you go through life, looking through the right rearview mirror and you suffer a setback or a mishap because things were closer than you thought, don’t get upset with the mirror! The purpose of the right rearview mirror is not to show you how things really are, its purpose is just to show you that things are! Its purpose is to show you things that you might not otherwise see of because of blind spots. Instead of going through life blinded, the right rearview mirror affords you the opportunity to at least see, although somewhat distorted, what you might not otherwise see at all! But the mirror does not in any way attempt to deceive because etched in the mirror in plain view are the words: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”