Many years ago, I had heard a story about a very small child who had been playing in a box out in the middle of a street. A car came down the road, and the driver assumed that the box was empty. The driver flattened the box and its precious contents.
I saw a box in the middle of a busy road today. I did not hit it due to the story above. I started thinking about how our assumptions can often lead us to trouble and heartache for ourselves and others. Appearances can be deceiving. We look at anything and assume we know all about it. We, as humans, believe we can tell how nice a house is on the inside just by looking at the outside. If the appearance of that house is trashy on the outside, well, then it must be just as trashy on the inside. Right? Not necessarily so.
Have you ever looked at another human being and had an immediate reaction of, “Man, she’s hot!” or “Ugh, he’s ugly!”? I’m almost certain that each of us, at some point in our lives, has made those immediate (and unattractive) responses. Not all who are “unattractive” on the outside are that way on the inside. Those who are “attractive” on the outside may not be so on the inside.
The movie Shallow Hal comes to mind as I write this blog post. If you haven’t seen it, I’m about to spoil it for you. Hal, played by Jack Black, is the main character, and he is superficial in looking for someone to have a good time with. He’s looking for the hottest women in the clubs and would not even give a second glance to those who are “less than.” Hal cannot see any further than the physical attractiveness, or lack of, before him. The shallowness will not allow him to see anything else. Hal meets up with Tony Robbins in an elevator. Robbins talks with Hal and hypnotizes him into only being able to see what’s on the inside of a person. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Rosemary. Hal sees Rosemary and is immediately head over heels in love. He begins dating her, and she believes he is playing a cruel joke on her. Hal’s friend thinks Hal is insane for dating Rosemary. The thing is, to Hal, Rosemary looks like this beautiful, tall, blonde woman with not a single flaw. To everyone else, Rosemary is 300 pounds and less than attractive to look at. Nobody can understand what Hal sees in Rosemary.
What he saw was her inner beauty. That precious gift that we can only see if we resist the urge to judge on appearances only. He eventually fell in love with her, and she fell in love with him.
The point is that if we would just slow down and take the time to see what’s inside the box in the road, we may see something so precious and beautiful that the tattered box would not matter. Look past the makeup, the muscles, the tan, the botox treatments, the wrinkles, the flat hair, and take the time to look at what’s really inside. You could be the most beautiful or handsome individual anyone has ever seen, but if you’re heart is black and ugly, the outside doesn’t really matter. Well, it shouldn’t
The outside is just dressing. The inside is where life is. The inside is where the most precious things about you and others exist. Just because you see a box in the middle of the road tattered and torn does not mean that it’s empty or filled with things with no value. Just because a gift is beautifully wrapped doesn’t mean that what is inside of it is what you want or need.
What you see is not what you always get.
Take time to look.