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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Visually Speaking

Do the clothes you are wearing say anything about you as a person? How does this make you feel? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 194).
There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it. (Dale Carnegie).

As [John the Baptist's] disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. (Mathew 11:7-9 NIV). 

It seems totally unfair that a visual can overrule a resume--that what you wear can be more important than who you are--but that's the case.  I have never cared much for clothes, and that has probably hindered my career more than anything else.  Yet there truly is a certain arrogance in assuming one's personality, character, and virtue are so strong and so sterling that it doesn't matter what visual clues one projects.  We should be fully aware of the importance of visual clues based upon our own human (and animal) nature.  The truth is, I have often worn clothes that testified to the fact that I wanted other people to overlook allow me to go unnoticed and fly below radar.  So in a sense, I have dressed appropriately for my real mission of willful, not to say craven, avoidance. In important ways, visual clues project the tone and manner in which we wish to be evaluated.  To the final retort that some people can't afford appropriate clothing, I can only say that some of the best dressers I know shop at secondhand thrift stores.

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