Saturday, November 12, 2011


     When I read the article in Vancouver Sun about good looking and well - dressed persons being hired for jobs and promoted more often than those who didn’t have either quality, I recalled a laughable incident. I’d only had a few months as a new pastor in a church when the church Christmas party arrived. I was called forward to receive my Christmas gift. Or, some may call it my Christmas roast. Several truly humorous gifts had already been presented to which the crowded room of celebrants cheered, clapped and whistled.

     Then came the last gift. The presenter explained that he’d done some research before getting this gift for me. Some salient facts made it clear, he said, that pastors had to be at least five feet ten inches tall in order to be successful over the long haul. (No one needed  to measure me to know that I was doomed to failure. The room has suddenly become silent.) He explained that the whole church wanted so very much for me to be successful  they would assist me. My gift consisted of a pair of shoes with four-inch soles and heals added to them. We all laughed and cheered.

     I’m sure there is some truth in what the Sun’s columnist wrote. In the same newspaper some time ago, however, another columnist quoted statistics showing that most lay-offs and firings were not about looks and dress (would you believe), but about the inability to relate.

     Once on the job, with your competence demonstrated, it’s not about being most fashionable, or standing taller than others in your workplace, it’s about cooperation, teamwork, and care for others on the team that makes you a truly valued employee. Not that being dressed well is a handicap or being blessed with height makes you undesirable, but they these qualities cannot measure up to determination and ability to relate well.

     As a minister, I have observed what is said about people at a funeral. The comments made about the ones who pass on are consistently about their relationships. Have I ever heard someone’s looks or dress mentioned at funerals? Among the several hundred, perhaps two times. Relationships count most.



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