Don't get deceived

Don't get deceived

Not everything is as it appears. Indeed, how true is the quotation, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” which is also a mantra chanted by all and sundry implying that outer appearances can be deceptive and erroneous. In other words, how a person, situation, circumstance or incident is “packaged” augurs how we instinctively perceive it, although this can in many cases be misleading.

The following true story will illustrate the above point lucidly. There was once a well-to-do family where the father felt it incumbent to rear his children with the luxuries but also expected them to adhere and conform to staunch principles.

In such a setting, the man’s eldest son’s birthday was coming around and he made no bones of the fact that he desperately wanted a Hyundai car as a birthday gift. When the young lad’s birthday dawned and it was time for him to open his birthday gifts, he was a trifle disappointed when he opened his father’s gift and found inside a beautiful blue-coloured Bible.

The son was chagrined for he felt that his father had given him an attractive Bible in order to absolve him of his guilt feelings instead of giving him the car which he wanted. Irate, grim and filled with ire, he stormed out of the house with his degree certificates and a suitcase. He made some clever, strategic business moves and launched himself in a flourishing lucrative career. He also married his childhood sweetheart and within a few years had a family of his own.

Meanwhile, the father had grown old and anticipating his demise, called all his children. The son, though upset by his father’s attitude, endeavoured to come and see his father, which he thought would be for the last time. Unfortunately, before the son could reach, his father had already expired. When the son came, he happened to chance upon the birthday gift of the Bible.

He flipped through it until he came to the last page on which was stuck a key with a label saying, “Key to Hyundai car, paid in full.”

Tears streamed down his face, for it was evident that his father had always cared for him. The only thing is that it was not packaged in the way the son had expected and anticipated.

Indeed, in life, it is very important to not jump to conclusions, and not to be fooled by packaging, which in many cases can be extremely deceptive. Take, for example, the case of the late Mother Teresa, who used to get every year a consignment of footwear for the inmates of the Nirmal Hriday, run by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata.

She would give the better slippers to the dying and destitute and she herself would wear the rejected leftover slippers.

As a result of years of wearing faulty footwear, her feet became gnarled and deformed. But, who in this entire world can deny the fact that this lady of God with snarled feet, was undoubtedly and hands down the most beautiful woman in the world?

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