“Don’t judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” – Unknown
It’s easy to get caught up in the show of who’s-who and I-know-so-and-so. Name dropping and being seen with individuals we consider “successful” has always been a blemish on the face of humanity, but what if it has gotten worse? Is it possible that we are enamored by status and prestige more now than ever?
In the film “Batman Begins”, there’s a scene where Bruce Wayne (Batman) has left an encounter where he has decided that he no longer wants to simply be Bruce Wayne, the billion dollar man. He has to go find himself. As he steps out of a pub into an alleyway, he sees a poor homeless man who is freezing in a ratty old coat. In an effort to blend in with the surroundings, he makes an exchange – his designer label for the poor man’s thrift shop relic. One man – a billionaire under a worthless piece of fabric. Another man – a pauper in a king’s cloak.
We often make quick judgements based on appearances only. The job title, the car, the house, the awards, the seemingly perfect life…The trailer home, the Walmart clothes, the unemployed job seeker, the car that has over 300k miles, the frowning face behind sunken eyes…All a facade. The true wealth lies beneath the skin, deep within the human heart.
Some of the most generous people I have ever met were rich in their hearts, yet poor in their earthly wealth. Many of the most vile people I have ever encountered were empty within themselves, yet overflowing with dollars and cents that can evaporate like the morning mist.
No, that’s not always the case. Yes, there are rich and poor who embody both representations, but sadly, the stereotypes hold up for a reason.
If you’re a student, you know the people who sit on both sides of the cafeteria table. There are the kids who have the appearance of awesomeness and there are the kids who appear like the biggest losers the world has ever known. What if you’re missing out on some of the most rich relationships you could ever experience because you’re only looking at the outward appearance?
If you’re a working-class “professional”, don’t think you’ve escaped. You know that this battle meets you head-on as you put your foot in the office door each morning. The ladder of success is often built upon the week, stepping alongside the so-called powerful, successful leaders of industry. Don’t be fooled by a fleeting life of external success in exchange for an eternal reward.
You don’t have to tell me or anyone else, but be honest with yourself for a moment: do you seek friends who have power, influence, and a well-respected name? Are you making friends with the people who would normally be considered losers, misfits, and outcasts?
Isn’t it time we began focusing on the heart, not the external masquerade?