How Important is Image?
June 6, 2010 — I admit it. I like nice clothes and accessories. My daughters tease me about my “bling.” My husband says that my favorite accessory lines would go out of business without me. I get teased, and I like it. For I do care about my image.
Do I spend too much money and time pursuing this pastime? Probably. More importantly, I may give it too much consideration. What is of much greater importance is who I really am. My motives. My empathy. My character. What I want to contribute to the world.
Image is fun, but positive and caring motives are essential. Accessories may be creative, but a creative spirit filled with caring for and about others is more important. When you meet someone, do you only care about his or her image? Or, do you care about what his/her motives and character really are?
Perhaps you, too, espouse the idea that a professional should dress appropriately for the respective profession. To get ahead in one’s career there are image essentials, and refusing to follow them often has a negative impact upon one’s ability to advance. While standards fluctuate, the professional needs to have an image as well as behavior that helps him/her to blend in.
When we are meeting others, we can’t help but make judgments about them based upon appearance and behavior. How do we really know a person’s motives and character? We have to be able to see beyond her/his image. We need to have a sense about them. We need to determine, sometimes immediately, if the person can be trusted.
How can we humans uncover our natural instincts? How can we protect ourselves from those who would harm us? Why is natural instinct important? Because there is no other determinant.
Most of us no longer live where families stay in the same town for generations. Knowing family names as a way to determine who is likely, or unlikely, to be trustworthy is not reasonable for most of us. Travel has made it possible for us to live in several locations throughout our lives. It is common to mix languages and cultural backgrounds. Living where one knows none of one’s neighbors can create isolation. Who can be trusted? How can we know whom we can trust?
In previous wars, the enemy could be recognized. Uniforms and equipment made it possible to know who was on one’s side, and who was the enemy. That is no longer true. Today the enemy may look and speak like us, and the person with a different language and background may have capacity for friendship. Sleeper cells living near good citizens may be shocking, but not uncommon. Transportation and global business mean that many millions travel extensively, often to unfamiliar locations. The world is mixing at an exponential rate. Still, those without empathy must not be trusted.
So, how do we know whom we can trust? Perhaps we need to study our pets and other animals to learn, and to remember. Turtles have survived when other species have become extinct. What can they tell us? Perhaps they would say:
“Stick your neck out cautiously.”
“Take your time.”
“If in doubt, retreat quickly.”
“Always keep your protection available.”
Not bad advice from a turtle.
This Meditation is dedicated to seeing beyond image and behavior, to motives and capacity for empathy. Our survival and the survival of our freedom depend upon it.
Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of Sunday, June 6, and again the first Sunday of every month. We are in our 14th year of continuous meditation. Forward our Meditation to all in your address book; make copies for your religious and spiritual brochures and bulletins.
New! “Fibromyalgia: Awareness, Advocacy, and Action” is now available online.http://www.humanempowerment.org/fibromyalgia/FibroReport.pdf Your donations made it possible to print 3,000 more copies of a new edition of Fibromyalgia: Awareness, Advocacy, and Action in addition to the electronic Report found on our home page. Let us know if you can help us distribute this printed Report to patients, physicians, healthcare providers, attorneys, business, government, and others. We are so grateful for your support! Thank you! Contact Sue Shipe at email@example.com to obtain a copy or copies, or to volunteer to help distribute the Reports.
The New York State Assembly and Senate passed Resolutions for Fibromyalgia Awareness Week in New York State, May 10-16, 2010. This year the Resolution also recognizes the work of the International Institute For Human Empowerment and our Report, “Fibromyalgia: Awareness, Advocacy, and Action”. The 2010 Senate Resolution can be found in the new edition of our Report. You can request a copy by contacting Sue Shipe at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 11, 2010 — “International Unity Day” For more information, go to www.humanempowerment.org and click on the globe Please join us with your own local commemoration and Proclamation!
Nov. 6, 2010 — Saratoga Springs Lions Health Fair (local community only) Institute will sponsor a Fibromyalgia Booth. Watch here for more Fibromyalgia information and events in the coming months! See all of our activities at www.humanempowerment.org and select “Fibromyalgia”
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