Judging someone by the appearance, judging the gift by its wrapping

Tis Thing Called Life

When someone gives us a present, the first thing we tend to notice is the packaging. If the wrapping is ‘boring’, we tend not to be interested in what’s inside.

However, everyone would be looking at the gift with the most beautiful wrapping- the recipient is ever so excited and some others may even be envious.


The wrapping may cost more than the value of the gift inside. And the gift that was simply wrapped or sometimes not even wrapped at all may prove most useful and meaningful to the recipient.

But the fact we all know is that, the gift cannot stay wrapped forever. We will need to eventually unwrap it. In the end, it’s what’s inside that matters- not the wrapping.

A similar situation applies in our lives- we tend to judge others and sometimes ourselves but just their outer appearance. In order to keep up with society ‘norms’, we spend tonnes of money on clothes, make-up, accessories, handbags, facials, expensive haircuts, diets, plastic operations….and so on because like a gift, we had believed that it’s what outside that matters.

While we slave our lives to earn enough money to keep up with the ‘status’ and the outward ‘packaging’, there is little time, resource and energy left to invest on what’s inside us. Because somehow along the way, we’ve lost touch with what that truly matters- that inner beauty that would give rise to that inner glow.

Many people spend time their pretending to be someone whom they are not, because deep down inside, they become afraid that they will be rejected if their true self is being found out or discovered.


The truth to be told, essentially, the worst critic or the person who reject us the most is we ourselves. Many people are ashamed of who they really are inside- their background, looks, size- and spend their entire lives wishing they were someone else.  And so, they act and pretend to be someone else.

Unfortunately, it does not make it better. It only brings about a chain effect- we pretend to be someone whom we really are not …..and assuming people ‘accept’ us, deep down, we would feel that we are somehow an imposter. We would wonder, ‘would we be loved unconditionally had that person realize who we are inside? Probably not….”

And then we go on ‘pretending’. We try to keep up….when new products hit the market, we buy them to keep up with everyone else.  When we can no longer control our weight- because we feel compelled to eat to fill up that emptiness inside, we turn to diet pills, slimming centres, plastic surgery and toilet bowls (bullimia).

We can lie to the whole world but we can never lie to ourselves. Such disconnect would only bring to increase the inner conflict. And when there’s a downturn, as in life there would always be ups and downs, we would go into depression, insomnia and sometimes, even suicidal.

On the contrary, if we know ourselves, or spend a bit of effort to nurture ourselves, to relax, acknowledge our being, and to learn to respect the person we are, the body that we have been entrusted and given (instead of cursing it for being imperfect)- with time, we would develop a strong and unshakable foundation. Good or bad, happy or sad, we are able to remain calm and peaceful.

The core within us become a strong mountain, immovable and unshakeable even by strong wind, tide, snow, fire, sun and rain. It is totally opposite from lallang (wild grasses) that sway and follow the direction of the changing wind.

In the end, it’s what inside us that matters. People may be taken in at first by the packaging- but in the end, it’s the ‘gift’ inside that matters. Within each and everyone one of us, we all have our own inner greatness.

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