Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

Written in


The other day was my 2nd-grader’s inaugural ride in the front seat of the van. He was checking out the new view from up there: Dad, what’s that? What’s that one? What’s that? I was explaining what a tachometer is, and trying to figure out why our Honda Odyssey even needs one, when he read the passenger-side mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. So I explained what that was all about, and it got me thinking.

The 2 rearview mirrors have completely different functions, different magnifications. And they’re not interchangeable. If the driver’s side was zoomed out and convex like the passenger’s, you wouldn’t know just how close someone coming up on your left to pass really is. But if the passenger side wasn’t wide-angle, you’d miss someone in your blind spot.

Kinda like life. Sometimes you need a focused, accurate perspective, just to make sure you’re not about to get rear-ended when changing lanes. Other times, you need that broader but less-accurate passenger-side view, just to make sure you’re not missing something way over on the periphery.

Moreover, you need to make sure you’re switching back and forth between them often enough. You get fixated on one or the other, and something comes up and bites you.

So as this year passes into the next, and before you get bogged down in too many holiday to-do’s, resolutions and yearly goal lists, remember the mirrors. Keep your focus, but don’t forget the wide view too. It’s good to have another front seat buddy.

Although, just like his sister before him, he needs to understand rule #1 of front-seat passengering: the driver runs the radio.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: