Is packaging important?

A quotation very much in colloquial parlance these days is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Two more sayings with similar meanings are “Appearances can be deceptive” and “All that glitters is not gold”. Very clearly, the above quotations all point to the fact that one should not be misled by outer appearances which may very often prove to be deceptive. Therefore, in such a situation, why do people place so much of emphasis on packaging?

The following story shows to what extreme extents people go to regarding packaging. There was a young man getting ready to graduate from college. 

He was greedily eyeing a magnificent sports car which he wanted his affluent father to purchase for him. 

On his graduation day, the father called his son telling him that he had a gift for him. The son took the gift, undid the wrapping, and found inside a lovely leather-bound Bible with his name embossed on it in gold. Though beautiful, the son was deeply disappointed for like many headstrong and arrogant young men of his age, he had anticipated the gift of the sports car. He stormed out of the room angrily, leaving the Bible behind.

Years later, the young man grew up and became a successful businessman. He had amassed wealth and had a doting family of his own. Word reached him that his father was on his deathbed and wanted to see him. Grief-stricken and a trifle guilty, he rushed to his native place only to find that his father had breathed his last. Since the son had to subsequently take care of things, he searched through his father’s papers and quite accidentally found the Bible.

With tears in his eyes, he opened it, trembling. There was a passage underlined from the Bible, Mathew 7-11, “And of ye, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father who is in Heaven give to those who ask Him?” As he read these words, out slipped the sports car key, with a tag saying, “Paid in Full”. He realised too late his father’s deep and unconditional love for him.

Indeed, how often does one miss God’s blessings just because it is not packaged the way we expect? It is imperative for one not to get carried away and enamoured by the outer appearances and façade and instead see the deeper meaning and beauty. Which would one prefer: A beautiful well-groomed woman who is a smooth talking operator, who sways and influences listeners with her glib, but malicious talk? Or shouldn’t one instead pay more heed to a person who may be blunt and curt but means well, is sincere and genuine, and walks her talk?

Indeed, it is a sine qua non that one should always see the bigger picture and believe in people who deliver the goods, in both sunshine and rain. Packaging is concomitant with gift-wrapping paper, which may be beautiful, attractive and pretty, but if the gift inside is of poor quality, the packaging is wasted.

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