During the fall of 2015, I was involved in a Sociology 101 course. I was able to take this course as my high school at the time was, and still is, working on ways to allow the students to take and experience real college courses while they are in their final year of high school.
My professor at the time gave my classmates and I the assignment of reading the chapters that outlined the theories on how a persons ideal of self grows within that persons’ lifetime. As I was completing my assignment I immediately found a theory that I came to personally understand.
“Each to each a looking-glass, reflects the other that doth pass.” -Charles Horton Cooley (The Looking-Glass Self 1902).
This theory essentially explained that every person has a certain ideal of themselves and how they should act/feel due to the people around them. We grow and form this idea of our “true selves” based on those that we come into contact with. Think of your face as being a mirror (or in this this case a looking-glass). When someone looks into your mirrored-face, it will not only show that person, but it will also show the other people that you have come into contact with.
This is a basic concept that is supported by the idea that when you are young, especially within your first couple years of life, you mimic the people and things going on around you that you like. The Looking-Glass Theory also goes on to explain how many people have trouble throughout their lives figuring out their selves and individual voices due to the severity of the opinions of others around them molding them too much.
This quote spoke to me so much, as the ideal of who I am as a person and finding my own unique voice, has always been an issue for me. Eventually, I fell in love with the quote and used it as my Senior Yearbook Quote.