One of the earliest lessons we are supposed to learn is not to judge a person by appearance. The most impressive-looking individual may never amount to anything. At the same time, a person whose appearance is hardly worth a second glance could be someone on whom history pivots.
The Apostle Paul is one of the most important people in history. Despite his unmatched influence, he probably wouldn’t have done well as a televangelist. One of the oldest descriptions of his physical appearance can be found in the second-century writing, The Acts of Paul. It describes the apostle as, “A man of middling size, and his hair was scanty, and his legs were a little crooked, and his knees were far apart; he had large eyes, and his eyebrows met, and his nose was somewhat long.”
Another excellent example of this principle can be found in William Wilburforce. The British politician is remembered for leading the movement to abolish the slave trade. To do so, he took on some of the most powerful people in government, business, and society.
If appearances were any indication of his likelihood of success, no one would have given his chances a second thought. He was small and frail, with one description saying that even a modest gust of wind would knock him down.
James Boswell watched and listened as Wilburforce gave a speech. He recorded his impression of this history-changing man: “I saw what seemed to me a shrimp mount upon the table, but, as I listened, he grew and grew until the shrimp became a whale.“
When it comes to upper body strength, athletic ability, and eyesight, this writer was born in the shallow end of the gene pool. Since scrawny, awkward kids with thick glasses are prime targets for bullies, one can only imagine what my junior high years were like. Things began to change one day when my biggest […]
Have you heard about the fabulously wealthy Indian ruler who was snubbed at a Rolls Royce showroom? When the salesman did not recognize the distinguished visitor and dismissed him as someone who could not possibly afford one of the expensive vehicles, it was an insult that could not be overlooked. The visitor bought all of […]
The Victorian era is remembered for its civility and good manners. Valentine’s Day cards are synonymous with love and affection. Theoretically, that period should have produced nothing but elegant, heart-warming cards that bring out the best from the sender and recipient. So much for expectations. The supposedly-genteel era gave birth to a phenomenon known as […]