Not All That Glitters is Gold

This saying is made popular by William Shakespeare's usage in one of his poems. However, there is more truth and wisdom imbedded into this saying. On the simplest terms, this saying reminds us that not everything we consider valuable based on our crude judgment may not be as  worthy as it is in reality. Some corollaries are also true saying that not all that is insignificant are not as less precious as we first thought. However, how about making this saying as way of life? How could man deduce the core propositions attached to this saying? A thorough analysis of this saying is the focus of this blogpost.

What we see and believe is not entirely correct.

It is impossible for us to know everything. There are things hidden to us deliberately or unintentionally. There are also by chance, we fail to acquire valuable information that could possibly change the way we act and think. It is therefore correct to say that whatever we know are pure truths. One has to recognize this fact. This is both a strength and weakness. It is a weakness because this simply describes and highlights man's limitation. We all have limitations, this is the reason why commit mistakes. Moreover, this limitation could be considered as a strength if embraced wholeheartedly, rather than ignored or denied. It is wise to acknowledge this weakness, so unnecessarily mistakes happen, by exercising due caution and vigilance in everything we do. Furthermore, identifying what is best for us starts with being certain that there are things that hinder us from achieving what is best for us.

Our biases lead us to inaccurate judgment.

Everything lies on the perspective or viewpoint we see things. Our decisions, actions and even emotions depend on this. However, some people may not be willing to explore various ways to see the same thing or situation on another angle. By convenience, the way we see things simply is the best way to see it. However, this is not true most of the time. One must be diligent enough to delay any decision, not until things are seen in different perspectives. For example, a situation does not just apply to oneself, but also others. By looking a situation through another's perspective, one gains valuable information before an action could be made. This is the reason people tend to neglect the things that are supposed to be helpful to them, rather than focusing and investing time and resources on the less important ones. Our biases, laziness and unwillingness to explore different views lead to ignore the genuine and worthy. Unfortunately, these biases do not just hinder us to keep what is good for us, but it hampers our maximum potentials.

Our focus is what is satisfies us, not what is absolutely good for us.

We live in a world fixated on consumption and satisfaction. We live because we take and receive.  Our goal is merely to consume and satisfy ourselves temporarily. That is not wrong, because that is our nature. However, we should be reminded on the significant difference between benefits and satisfaction. Satisfaction is merely short-lived experience geared towards just going above the threshold. What is enough at the moment is something that satisfies one. On the other hand, benefits are concrete results that may have long-term positive influence in us, not just superficially but also deeply. What satisfies us seems good today and is perceived valuable until the time it ceases to meet one's needs. In contrast, what is good for us could last longer as long as it affected us to do something better for us and for others.

As human beings, we have our flaws. No one is perfect. That is true. However, this imperfection could not be used as an excuse for indecision, misjudgment or imprudence. Everyone could make mistakes, but since we are wired to commit mistakes, it becomes natural. To be extraordinary is to be wise. By gaining wisdom and discernment, we make something good for ourselves and for others. We as human beings, although imperfect are supposed to do something great and, we should through our judgment identify what is good and what is bad for us. Knowing what is indeed gold and not is not an extraordinary skill, it is both an expectation and obligation for us to be great.


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