Which side?

I was recently asked a rather interesting question. That question triggered thoughts on so many levels I can’t begin to explain. It was intended as a joke but developed into what I am writing now.

The question: On which side of the chicken are the most feathers?

Yes… simple enough. It can be obvious or obscure. The choice is yours really. How deep into the question do you see? Is it a trick question? Is there actually a “side” of a chicken that has more feathers than another? Do the size of the feathers matter? What would you call a “side” of a chicken? Front? Back? Left? Right? Top? Bottom? The answer, of course, was: THE OUTSIDE!

One of the things this triggered with me is what is it that we look at and with what do we look?

It has become more and more apparent to me that nearly everyone looks on the outside only to make their judgements about anyone or anything.  We tend to see how handsome a politician is to determine if that politician is the correct candidate.  Never mind qualifications.  Never mind past discrepancies.  Never mind if their history of lying.  How young are they?  How eloquent?  How well dressed?

The same holds true for potential mates.  How pretty or handsome is this girl or that guy?  How much money do they have or seem to have? (still its an outward thing)   How well dressed or how neat is their hair?  What kind of car do they drive or where do they live?  These things might be of some use but the real nitty gritty about it all is what is really important.  How do they or would they treat me as a mate?  How confident can I be in the relationship?  How much can I trust them to be honest with me yet understanding and even tender enough to allow me to make a mistake or two (not talking about fidelity here)?  How much can I trust that person to be faithful?  What is THEIR history?  What does it tell me?  What about their Family history of faithfulness?  Does that matter?  Can I trust this person for the rest of my life to be there through the thick and the thin?  What will this person do when it REALLY gets tough?  These questions are SOOOO  much more important than the outward signs of glitz, glimmer, or glow.

In speaking with one of my favorite consults, he impressed on me to look at this from another perspective as well.  Not only should I (or we) look at things (or people) in a deeper fashion, but we should also look at things (and/or people) from a “big picture” type outlook.  I have eluded to both aspects of perspective in previous posts.  The idea or concept of digging deeper has always been of importance to me.  To find the truth in layers underneath the surface takes time and effort.  It is also true that we get another perspective when we look at things from an “outside the box” view.  This would have given the answer to the “feathers” question an easy choice from the start.  But it is also true that this is not the first aspect from which we gather out intel.

It is a natural thing to look on the surface.  But what is seen there is seldom all there is.

It takes work to view below the surface.  It takes courage to look at things from that out-of-the-box viewpoint.

Most of us have been fooled at one point or another because of our own inability to look at things as we should.  The old adage of “Beauty is only skin deep” can be misleading.  Others have added to it that “ugly goes all the way to the bone.”  Again misleading.  Outward beauty truly is only skin deep and fades quickly with the passing of time.  Inward “ugly” truly does go all the way to the bone as it is the core of the individual that has that personality inside them and it seldom changes even with time.  Still, inward beauty can and usually does last a lifetime and shows both outwardly and from within.  What we “normal” people (wow is that a misnomer) would call ugly from an outward appearance is of little consequence if the person in question is viewed from a purely personality perspective.  Outward appearance, perceived intelligence level, or even extremity differences matter little where the inward person is concerned or viewed.

Having been involved with counselors and students and teachers of all levels of education I have been privileged to learn and see all manner of people using their talents to shine where others neither would have nor could have.  I’ve seen students labeled as disabled or challenged succeed where “normal” regular ed students failed miserably.  I remember the quote that hung over the door of the classroom for the severely handicapped hung by the teachers of that class that read “the difficult we can do right away; the impossible may take a little longer.”  And they meant that.  I’ve seen works of art from people that had no hands.  I’ve heard wonderful music from people that had no sight to see the notes.  I’ve seen slow learners pass difficult tests and show significant detail in their thought processes.

(In case you don’t recognize them…  Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Andre Botticelli, Steven Hawking, & Oscar Pistorius)
It is interesting to me that Beethoven went deaf yet composed, conduct and perform even after he went totally deaf.    Van Gogh was mentally ill and died at 37 after producing over 2000 works of art.

What we see is not what is.  It takes viewing from three (or more) levels to interpret even a portion of what may actually be.  Looking from within on a microscopic level.  looking on the outside from an every day perspective, and looking from far outside the normal boundaries.  Feathers grow from the inside to show on the outside but you have to see the dog chasing the chicken to see why it is running and feathers are flying.

Don’t judge someone just because they seem to be hard to deal with.  There may be much more to why they are that way than you can see.  People are not happy when they are in pain.  That pain can take many forms.  Give of your peace to them that have not.  Share with another the beauty that you see.  It may just make their day.

Don’t judge because of what you see.  Outward appearance is a mere shell of what is within.

Which side are you looking at?

I found this and feel that it is just the ticket to bring this home in a way that I can not.  It is worth the view.


If you get the chance or just want to there are several others about them that are also very good.


Author: memman

Too much to tell. There is more than what is seen on the surface of any man. Some have more layers than others. I have many.

2 thoughts on “Which side?”

  1. I enjoyed this one Dan. I was moved even. Especially after the video. That was perfect to use with what you have written. I have also noticed that a lot of your comments, and maybe more in this writing than usual, the type of thinking that your questions provoke is more “playful” in spirit. Which I like as I believe playful equals creative. And if you’re in a creative zone mentally, that is a more productive and expansive zone of thought (not to mention less stressful) than the typical “defensive” or rigid mindset that many people are in throughout the day. So thank you for the gift!

    1. Ok…. I thought I did reply but I guess the system just didn’t take it. Thank you for the kind remarks. Maybe too kind but I will try to live up to it as best I can. I didn’t really intend to be any more playful in my writing. I just write what I think and/or feel. Look for even more honesty in my writing in the future. I’m going to stop being so vague or ambiguous so often. I feel the need to put into writing exactly what I think and not to be too PC. I’m sure I will still be very PC at times and maybe even vague. Lets just say that I am going to “try” to be less vague and be more open about the true depths of my thoughts. I’ll try anyway.

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