Last night on my way home from picking up wings, I was reminded of a line from my favorite comedy ‘Anchorman’. It’s right at the beginning of the opening credits (before the ‘unique new york’ and human torch stuff) when he says these lines:
‘Oh, I look guuuuuudddd…Everybody! Come and see how good I look!’
The line is funny in retrospect because the character is solely dependent on his looks and status because he isn’t that talented. I mean, he’s really not, which makes the movie insanely funny!
The reason I thought of the scene was because people do this all the time. It may not be because they are or aren’t talented in a common field BUT the majority of people care greatly about what they look like to others as opposed to simply being comfortable in their own skin.
You’ve seen it. There’s the teen who acts like they’ve never done wrong in front of their parents but who are really sucky people when they aren’t around.
The spouse who quickly takes their partners hand in church or another public place to show the ‘joys of loves’ but spends more time at work or on the computer (or golf course).
The person who is broke but buys new clothes to remain IN the group.
The pastor who preaching from memory of scriptures gone by but and shares rules and ideas that they don’t even live out.
The business associate who buys so much to look like a major player but who really isn’t.
That’s my favorite…they use weird language and pull out their blackberry at odd times just to remind themselves ‘this is what we do to look cool.’ Just this morning before leaving the house I saw on facebook one of my former students openly use choice language towards another but when they come home from university this Christmas, they will act like they just met with Jesus on the train (stop judging, Chase, you say. To you I say stop reading;)).
My ‘look’ is the over-competent dad when I’m at my church. Now I know I’m a good dad. A really good one. But when I’m at the church, I feel like I gotta put it on. Which is funny because I’m not like that for worship or prayer times when I know I’m being watched. So I often take Eliana to the nursery to be changed, brag about her accomplishments (she just started standing on her own, saying ‘mama’ and more and she just turned 8 months, since you asked) and show that I’m a man who can do all that stuff. I know I shouldn’t but I do. And not all the time, but sometimes:)
Sadly, there are people who judge others based on how they look, which pushes people to work hard and fixing their outer shell. Becca and I were talking last night about how people may not get the respect they deserve in certain jobs or platforms because they don’t look the part in the eyes of others. Which sucks because there are many great people who are talented and ‘don’t look the part’ or whatever the crap that means (I mean seriously, what’s ‘the PART’). I think that’s why God uses the foolish things of the world to spin the way we do things on its head. I mean for the good looking David character, there’s bald Elisha, possible stocky Paul and more.
It’s easy to say ‘who cares about appearance’ but if I said that, I’d be a hypocrite (I am currently at a Starbucks with a giant hat on because I am ashamed of my bad black guy hair that needs to be cut). I’m not saying don’t look good ever. But instead, do it for you, not for people who may or may not even care about your genuine well-being. Besides, those same people who you’ve set on a pedestal are stuck having to impress you forever, so when they fall, they fall hard and break your heart and confidence along with their own (that’s why we take it so hard when our favorite celebrity/pastor falls).
Funny. As you’re trying to impress them, they are trying just as hard to impress you or someone over them…
And it hits all of us, so be careful. That’s why we change our clothes four to five times before leaving, buy certain cds and movies, etc. To fit in. We all do it. Now how do we undo it…
While I was typing this, an employee here at starbucks told me a story that fits in here. While at a wedding with her family, there was an expensive brunch the next day in which they were invited. While others jumped at the invite, her family was more hesitant based on the cost and their own financial spot. Yet her father shrugged and brought them despite the cost saying these words: ‘Well, we gotta keep up appearances…’
We all do it, right? Any stories to relate? How do you work at simply being you? Do you have people you work hard to impress? Do you look for people to impress you?
Let’s work hard and being honest, knowing who we are and our limitations and living within those walls, while inviting people around us who will accept us for who we are while challenging us to be better for God, ourselves and those we care for.
Scary. I just realized I have to do this too. And my daughter will one day learn this herself.