So you see, I was right all along”.

Yes she was; but that didn’t  stop me from giving her a cutting look. I just wanted her to keep quiet. Not because I wanted peace I confess, only more because I knew she was correct and it irked me …to no visible end.   And why did she have that smug look on her face?

My friend had questioned my judgement about a set of dishes – 24 in number, each 10.5inches (it was written on the carton). I had fallen in love with them at sight. They were absolutely beautiful I tell you, pure white and thinly rimmed round the edges with dots of green and pink; but my friend for no particular reason seemed to think they were fake. I remember asking her how something so beautiful could be fake.

First time I ate off it, anyone watching me would have sworn that I savored the plate more than I savored the food in it…and they would have been correct.

And as it turned out, she was right.

Second time, I did have a pleasant meal. Problem began when I had to wash it. The oil feel and everything else came off but not the oil stain. I didn’t notice it until I had rinsed the soap off, then washed them again thinking it was my error. No luck. It was horrible! And I had planned on a lot of show off…

Consequently, when friend mine discovered my “failing beauties” as she so sweetly put it, she plunged into a long sermon about instincts and detecting fraud. That merchandise had let me down. I spent quite a fortune purchasing them and should have gotten my money’s worth. All that glitters…

When the pain of my double loss lessened, I had a better look at the incident and realized that much of it applies to human behavior and relationships. Many times we underestimate people because their looks are not so great or their dress patterns fall short of our standards. Other times, we overestimate people because they look attractive in certain or every way possible. It  is often easy to forget about inner content and focus on outer qualities until we become the very recipients of whatever resulting content after interaction.

I once attended a camp meeting and some newcomers were introduced. Amongst them was a man who was too pudgy-faced for his overall physique and mismatched clothes that did not hang well on him. His awkward stance didn’t help either. Well into the meeting, it was announced that someone wanted to give a number and this same man walked out to the  podium. As he did- shame on me-, I irreverently wondered what he had to say.

Then he opened his mouth and the sweetest voice I have ever heard in a man upfront floated out, easy on the ears. My thoughts stopped, my eyes were fixed. On him. Believe me when I say I could not take my eyes off him. And he sang with such depth and passion. My wonder and admiration knew no bounds. After that day, I saw him often but I never looked at him the same again.

How many times have we secretly dismissed an individual at first meeting, sometimes even before we get close? What about that friend who has not a lot but is true but we nonetheless put on the back burner for the moneyed one whom we many times have wondered at? This does not mean that our initial judgements are always wrong as sometimes we are right on target. It is a good thing to possess charm and the gift of gab but it is a mistake to think that these qualities alone are enough to earn the genuine respect of people especially if deep down lies an unattractive nature because once it shows forth, a retreat occurs and eventually, a resistance. Life is about substance, yes but often times, substance is defined by the wrong things.

Never judge a book by it’s cover. Better still, you may want to buy it’s cover and then of course you know the book comes along… The point is, we must take care that we are worth as much as we look.

I think beauty does not equate class or excellence and when we choose beauty-on-the-surface over class-on-the-inside, it is sure ALWAYS to fail. Lesson learnt.


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