New Look or New Outlook?

We want people to see us, notice us. We might even get offended if ignored. We also want to be seen at our best. So we spend a lot to improve our look. But then we also say not to “judge a book by its cover.” Sounds contradictory? Which one have you engaged in? How did it go?

It is actually against nature not to pay attention to what we see since we are given eyes to see for our protection. Looks say a lot, not just about one’s age, but also one’s preference, lifestyle, emotional state, personality, even one’s past, health, religion, and capability.

That many? Yes, but only to the observant person. That’s why an observant person is often better at assessing and problem solving. They take note of the appearance though they do not judge by appearance alone.

The lack of sufficient time to observe and study an object or event often contribute to false report and action. We see that occurring more when media outlets compete to be the first to deliver a news item. What exactly is the reason for the rush? You can guess it.

Not seeing well is not just due to shortage of time allowance. Human propensity to be self-serving affects what one sees. We see our own fault less and the fault of others more. This is no longer an intellectual issue, but a heart issue. It is coming from a heart of pride, greed, selfishness, prejudice, or dishonesty.

But probably the greatest victim is ourselves. We easily resort to using our outer look to represent the real us, then relying on other’s approval for our sense of worth. The rapid boom of surgical beauty, sex reassignment clinics, shortened fashion trend cycles may indicate our discomfort with ourselves among other things.

How do you know you are obsessing?

When you have a gnawing need to find validation through altering your look. When you go to great lengths to alter the parts you do not like, unless medically required, to hide your insecurity or dis-ease. When you emphasize the parts you want people to notice, or thought they would while sacrificing your real assets, When you constantly notice in others what you think you lack. When you quickly become depressed because you cannot get the look or compliment. When a single negative comment could change your mood and bring you down.