The girl was to be seen by the chosen boy and his parents that afternoon. She was not a very pretty girl, short and skinny. They took her to a beautician for a bridal make up and had her hair style done attractively. Her mother adorned her with all shining jewelry and in costly silks. They had made a variety of sweets and snacks. The boy’s parents looked at the ornaments, the rich brocade and the lavish spread of eatables and were impressed. The boy too was taken in by the rich ambience all around. They conveyed their approval then and there. There was no discussion on girl’s attainments or abilities though luckily in this case she was talented.
Likewise we are often influenced in our decisions by the outward frills. A bad coffee given in an ornate silver mug is preferred to a good one in an ordinary steel cup. When given the choice to choose one from the tray, we are tempted to pick the glittering one though we know nothing of the content in both the cups. The little child always prefers in a sweet shop items that are covered in bright silver foils unconcerned about the contents inside. Cars are bought for the outward sleek appearance and flashy gadgets much like the jewels on the girl without going into its technical parameters. I have seen people preferring posh restaurants that serve the dishes in finest cutlery on well covered tables by waiters in uniforms even though the food served is of indifferent quality than the delicious stuff served in modest looking places. People are guided by appearances and do not mind paying more.
Similarly unprofessional employers are taken in by the gift of the gab, resourceful replies and the appearance of the candidates instead of assessing their true worth of in terms of intelligence, accomplishments and other personality traits. Even reputed companies have often to turn out within a year the unfit employees that passed muster initially. The more the wrapper is colourful, the chances of the product appealing to the buyer are more. The wrapper need not be a paper; it can be a certificate for a candidate from some reputed institutions. The advertising companies exploit this weakness in human nature to fall for the external attributes.
Not all the ochre robed men can be a worthy guru. But we see gullible men rushing to fall at the feet of fake god men who fasten themselves with all paraphernalia and hired disciples. With the herd mentality predominant in ourselves, we are apt to get fooled by the multitude waiting for the darshan.Truly great men avoid crowd and choose secluded places. It is only by rare chance and by divine grace that one comes across such saints with true spiritual knowledge and authentic personal experience. The pomp and worth of the individual are frequently in inverse proportion.
We frequently misjudge a person, place or thing by its appearance often failing to realize that trusting mere appearances is wrong. A glib talker or a handsome politician or one who makes liberal promises is more likely to be chosen in elections because of common perception that he would make a good leader, when in reality he might be very incapable and corrupt. When we choose people to rule the country we are guided by the outward show like the crowd turn out, his lineage and the trappings and not by the real worth and true character of the candidates for office. Smooth talk expressing concern for the people should not mislead us. Instead their past record of service, their simple living and a disdain for wealth should be the guiding factors. Too many promises and small concessions often camouflage the real intention.
We always see medical representatives dressed formally and well, as doctors have illogically more confidence in such people than on those dressed poorly. Apparel oft maketh the man is true in all human dealings though it is unsound logic. While there is nothing wrong for someone to look his best, we should remember that appearance alone should not be the primary basis on which one makes decision to buy or believe something or someone. Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream. Let us not confuse appearances with reality.