Yesterday I wrote about Lord Ganesha and missed talking about an important lesson that we should learn from him. His brother Lord Karthik is handsome, well built and looks like a God. In comparison, Lord Ganesha has an elephant’s head, a potbelly and a mouse for a ride …. If they weren’t Gods, we humans would have immediately assumed the good looking Lord Karthik to be the smarter of the two, more accomplished etc etc and there would hardly be any attention paid to Lord Ganesha. Not that Lord Karthik is not smart, but as the story with the Mango goes, Lord Ganesha turned out to be smarter.
The lesson for us is not to judge a person by appearance alone. But we do just that. If someone is fat we assume, they are lazy and not so smart, if someone drives a less expensive car, we assume they are less accomplished, if someone is good looking we assume they are intelligent, if someone speaks English well (in India) we assume, they are sophisticated …. So many fundamental attribution errors !!
How wrong we are – a rich Italian lady could not sway us from a poor tea seller, a not so good looking older man has become a youth icon and not the younger good looking scion of the erstwhile first family, the one who is his condescending best in English lost his deposit to a Tamil speaking “country” politician, the simple Nebraska man who drives an old car is still amongst the richest men in the world, a not so good looking lady is loved still by every orphan for being their Mother Teresa… The list is endless.
Lord Ganesha brings home the point beautifully, that appearances are deceptive and we human beings get deceived so easily … All that glitters is not gold, all that is slimy and slithery is not a snake and similarly all that appears as “accomplishment” may hide a diseased mind. So evaluate each person by their actions and not by their appearance or what they speak or how they speak. A study clearly has proven that everyone lies… The program is being shown on National Geographic or Discovery which shows the various experiments done to see how we lie, and what we lie about. Fascinating program and the good thing is, everyone lies, so no one needs to feel bad. But it also goes to prove, appearances are deceptive.
Watch out and value people whose actions are smart, good and benefit others – don’t stop at the outer appearance and miss the truly “accomplished” inside.