Check out my friend Shannon's blog carnival. This week she chose a movie quote from Some Kind of Wonderful to inspire us.
Keith: You can’t judge a book by its cover.If you remember, Amanda Jones was part of the rich, popular crowd, but really came from the same part of town as Keith and Watts. She was willing to beg, borrow, or steal (or sleep with someone) to stay part of this crowd. Sometimes I wonder what we are willing to do to keep up appearances.
Watts: No, but you can tell how much it's gonna cost.
Keith: Wow, I never knew you were so deep.
Watts: You want shallow, call Amanda Jones.
Last week for MMSM I wrote about perspective and comparing yourself to others. Another reason not to compare your life to another's is because appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes I read all these blogs about wonderful women with wonderful families and wonderful lives. And then I realize that while all I read could be true, it could just as easily be false, or at least not representative of the whole story. If I compare myself to some bloggers out there I will always come out on the losing end. But I don't really know those people, and they could have many challenges that they choose not to write about. And IRL (in real life) you don't always know people as well as you think either. Those perfect families you see at church aren't always perfect. And even in a friend or couple that you know well - what are they hiding to keep up the appearance of everything being okay?
Some people and families are very honest and unpretentious (see Shannon's post) and wouldn't dream of putting forth an appearance that is misleading. But for most people, the natural man leads us to care about what others think of us (more than what God thinks of us). And we are willing to beg, steal, borrow, or lie to create or maintain that image we want. Some live beyond their means, racking up debt in order to live and portray a certain lifestle. Some ignore problems in their marriages or with their children to avoid judgement from others. At the very least, almost all of us are willing to keep quiet about certain unflattering personality traits. Not everyone needs to know that my laziness keeps my house in a perpetually dirty state.
Keeping up appearances isn't always bad. I'm happy to see a friend looking her best by keeping up her highlights, eyebrow plucking, shaving, and self-tanning. But I need to make sure people know the real me enough to love me for who I am. That's where Amanda Jones went wrong, she changed herself too much to be accepted for who she was (except by Keith). And she allowed herself to be blinded by the appearance of the popular crowd - she couldn't see them for the shallow, manipulative people they really were.
See, good lessons can be found in all manner of movies. What are you willing to do to keep up appearances and maintain your image?