Do looks influence the way we treat people?

I have tested this in a variety of different settings and have been absolutely amazed at the difference in how people treat you when you are dressed professionally and look neat, or how you are treated when you go to the same place at the end of a long working day – maybe just picked up your child from school; the child is dirty and you look tired and perhaps you have mascara smudges under your eyes.

Another thing I have realized is that (some) people actually relate intellectual ability with outer appearance. This is absolutely astonishing. Look your best, and some people will fall over their feet to assist you in a pharmacy or store – and they will listen carefully and value your opinion. The next week you look like the image sketched above and people do not even listen to hear what the last part of your sentence is going to be.

Will what you look like determine whether someone will walk the extra mile for you or not? Is that not absolutely appalling? And the above examples are not exceptions. Through the course of my life I have seen how individuals treat someone and then, after a while, realize that this person is in actual fact a medical doctor and not a farmer (fresh off the lands and tired from hours in the sun and hard physical labour) – and in an instant that individual’s perspective and treatment of that person would change.

When did we as a human race and individuals become so haughty and begin to think that we’ve got it made?  Or has it always been that way?

I would like to remind those on the receiving end of this kind of perspective of this fact:  remember that it is the other person who has the issue and it does not mean that you are not worth their time or help!  And to those who think they know a little more or look a little better than someone else I have this reminder:  the more you learn and grow as a person, the more you realize how little you actually know and how much you still have to learn!

And thank you to those who are not swayed by looks or outer appearances or intelligence, but live with the awareness of the worthiness of all people; respecting, helping, serving, and encouraging them – no matter from what race, age, intellectual ability or social status they are.

At the end of the day we all have the same emotions. Whether we are clever or not-so-clever, pretty or not-so-pretty, skinny or not-so-skinny, neat or not-so-neat  – we are all very aware when we are being treated graciously and with kindness, or alternatively, without respect and courtesy.

Be careful – your integrity and values shine through in your dealings with your fellow man.  What picture do you portray?

Cedar Joubert
Sielkundige berader

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