Keeping Up With The Joneses

We have heard it being said oft and on and seen it happen more and more frequently in our day-to-day lives not to know what this expression means: it simply implies the fact of ‘keeping up appearances’ to suit other people’s whims, fancies and behaviour. It’s about putting up a masked performance on the stage of life just to please other people – to ‘get into their good books’ so to speak.

It starts slowly with small changes in speech and opinions to match those of other people – normally, individuals or families who are wealthy, powerful and influential. It could even be a person in authority like one’s boss. Later, this act of keeping up appearances goes so far as to change one’s entire manners, ethics, integrity and personality – including one’s wardrobe and mannerisms. This change is hardly ever for the better and in the end, the big question is – “Is it worth it?”

Well, of course it isn’t worth it. But you already know that.

Never change yourself to suit the needs of other people. No true friend would ever be so selfish as to ask another to effect such a drastic change in outlook, character and personality to suit their hidden agenda and ulterior motives. Be yourself and the right people will be attracted to you – this attitude might not get you thousands of ‘friends’ but who needs such large numbers of pure acquaintances anyway? Many people are notoriously unreliable – they are like ships at daybreak; visible on the horizon briefly before they perform the slick disappearing act at the first sign of trouble or crises. Such people are there today; gone tomorrow and forever more if one’s circumstances turn bleak and difficult. Take my word for it. It’s just not worth all the time, effort, money and trouble spent over such a fruitless venture.

So, learn the art of contentment in your own company. Work towards putting forth the very best version of yourself to the world at large – be just the way you are – no outward show or lilting performance. Cultivate a strong conscience for yourself. Know what is Right and what is blatantly Wrong and have the courage and strength to act upon what is The Truth.

At the end of our lives, we only answer to our conscience and to the Lord our God – if you are so spiritually and religiously inclined.

Don’t you agree?

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