THAT DON'T IMPRESS ME MUCH
I was watching Joyce Meyer tonight. She said, "Character is what you do when no one is watching." It got me thinking about the time and effort we put into doing things simply because people are watching us. For example, I don't particularly like washing my car. But when I do, I feel better about driving it. And maybe it's not just for myself, but how I look to others. A dirty car says something about you. So I got to thinking: If I lived on an island all by myself, would I bother to wash my vehicle? How many things do I do for the sake of looking good to others?
There's never been a time when people were more conscious of how they look to others. Just go shopping with a pre-teen and you'll see how important it is to have the right clothes and the right look. My daughter and I disagree about this all the time. I want her to be less tuned into the ways of the world and stop putting so much pressure on herself (and her parents) to have clothes with a certain name on them. If she lived on an island by herself, would she give two hoots about the name Hollister? No she wouldn't.
Perhaps we could all use a few weeks alone on that proverbial island. Wouldn't it be interesting to see how our character would change when we discover that suddenly no one is watching? What would we do differently?
The first thing we'd be relieved of is the desire to impress people with our image, achievements or financial status. If we suddenly had to live like Tom Hanks in Castaway and our only friend was a volleyball named Wilson, we'd have no reason to flaunt those things. We'd no longer care how we looked to the world. There might be a great freedom in that.
Keeping up appearances takes a lot of energy. What's the payoff for our efforts? I was also watching The Bachelorette tonight, which I'm almost ashamed to say because the way those men were acting made me feel I was watching something undeserving of my time. Whatever happened to that show? Anyway as I was saying, Ali, the bachelorette, seems to be a woman who's not impressed by image or status. She's looking for someone with a good heart. For that I love her and I wish her well. I almost cheered when she failed to give a rose to Mr. Dark Shadows. He gave me the creeps.
When I think of the guys I've known and dated, I wonder why I wasted my time on half of them. Some of them were so into the world and impressing people. I couldn't see it then because I was too immature, too naive maybe. I can only thank God that I didn't end up with any of them because I don't think they've changed. I ran into an old boyfriend recently and he was the same guy I remembered. He ran off his list of "let's impress her" things he's into, and I pretended to be interested. Then he made sure that I saw him drive off in his hot car. I yawned as he passed by, checked my watch, then popped in a stick of gum.
Tell me you're the CEO of a successful corporation and that don't impress me much. But do something thoughtful and kind and I'll be so impressed I'll probably talk about you for months. Character is what we do when no one is watching. But the reality is that someone is always watching and someday we'll be rewarded for our character.