Naked people have little to no influence on society.
Last evening, during my indepth discussions with Tathagata about life, the conversation somehow veered towards human being’s fascination towards how they dress up.
I think we were talking about Shakespeare – specifically, Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 3. Polonius gave some memorable advice to his son Laertes before he left home at the age of 21 (or was it 25?). A couple of great examples:
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be // For loan oft loses both itself and friend”
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice // Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.”
But as I explained to Tathagata, there was a particular advice that vexed me no end since I cannot, even to this day, align my values to that advice. It ran thus…
“For the apparel oft proclaims the man,”
That means you reconcile yourself to a world where you will be judged by how you look. That bothers me a lot. Mostly because I do not look good or dress good 😉 Seriously though, I have been deeply conflicted on that advice.
Tathagata, with his vast knowledge of literature, reminded me of a quote from Tagore
“Juta ki manushke boRo korite pare?”
Roughly translated to Shakespearean English it would be
“Shoes maketh nary a man, nobler”
I was absolutely delighted by his quick quip from a different language, different poet, different times.
Maybe I like him so much because he is my friend from elementary school.
Maybe I like him so much because he knows so much about literature and poetry.
I think though I like him mostly because he comes up with quotes that I can agree with better than the ones I come up with myself I 😉
Later driving back home, I remembered a Mark Twain funny quote on this topic I wish I had told him.
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little to no influence on society” 🙂