Once I listened to a man speaking in front of the class. He pronounced his words well and his voice exuded importance. His gestures and facial expressions matched whatever significance he was projecting. His collared shirt and crisp pair of pants just bolstered the grand appearance that he was putting. In the minds of the others, he was intelligent. For others, he was excellent. But when I listened to his words, they barely meant anything. His voice was excellent, yes. But whatever he was saying was not even striking.
Sometimes I try to shake off the thought that we are superficial. Do we live in a world where looks mean so much that we forget what some things truly mean? Have we blinded ourselves with the glitter of new things that we are unable to see the goodness within the people around us?
Once I read that well-dressed and handsome people have more chance of getting hired than others. Are we all applying to be product models? Do some people equate appearance and talent?
I am not saying that dressing up well is not a good thing. It shows a little bit about us. It is a common notion that if you can dress well, it is more likely that you can take care of yourself. After all, it does not feel right to go to work with hair that was ravaged by the dusty winds of the city.
In the society where I grew up, fame and charisma has everything to do with getting the sympathy of the people, even in winning an election. That alone spells how our society gives so much value on appearances and how superficial its people are. I am not saying that all actors (who are most likely eloquent and handsome) are foolish and stupid. But there are countless times that famous people with nothing to say and nothing to do but get even wealthier by doing his constituents a disservice. A silver-tongued politician is more likely to get the hearts of the people than a competent and intelligent public servant. The one who can sing and dance gets the power.
It is, however, wrong to rely largely (not solely) on charms and crisp and well-ironed clothes. We have to listen to what people say. We need to see what they do. What we need to examine is not the tone of the voice, not the shape of the face, or the brand of the clothes and gadgets. We need to examine one’s deeds and attitude. There lies the real value of a person.
As far as I can see most people would believe what a slim attractive, well-dressed, and neatly-combed lady would say over a fat and sweaty woman.
Do we buy books because they have beautiful covers? Do we like movies because they have great graphics and handsome and beautiful actors?
Sometimes I would like to say yes. How many times did books and movies with uninteresting plots, flat characters, and unimaginative settings had their claim to fame and fortune? How many movies did great in the box office because of the star power that it has? How many times did we believe the news that we see on television just because they are delivered by “credible” news sources who aspire to deliver the supposed truth?
Do we buy these books and watch these movies because they have something to say and have great stories to tell? People, like movies and books, are not defined by appearances. People are defined by deeds and attitudes. We are defined by the words that we utter and not by how our voice sounds. Let us stop equating appearances with talent, with good personality, or with great minds. Let us stop our superficiality and give attention to what is essential and what is valuable.