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Dress Well - Be Well

She did it! She found them. She finally found them in some random store near our house. She found the stylish black rimmed non prescription glasses that I've been wanting for months. I've been driving my wife crazy making her join in my quest to find these glasses.  Ah - yes but once I put them on I felt like Batman scaling the walls of Gotham, saving the city from evil goons. My mother in law commented that I looked a little like Russell Crowe.  No problem there.  I like Russell Crowe.  I looked at myself in the mirror so many times I gave Narcissus a run for his money.  Ok. enough self aggrandizing.  But did I mention I like how I look in these glasses? Ok the larger point that I am trying to make is: that dressing or looking a certain way causes our self perception and moods to change.

Think about it....

Don't you act differently when you are wearing a suit as opposed to wearing sweatpants? Don' t you view yourself differently after getting a facial, haircut or a manicure? I don't know exactly why, but maybe there is something hardwired into our DNA that affects our mood when we dress a certain way.  Or maybe there is some societal conditioning. It's true that on some level clothing indicates the status of a person. Kings dress a certain way, leaders dress a certain way, teenagers dress a certain way. Wearing a suit doesn't make you rich but it can make you act like you're rich. We are perceived to be (to some extent) what we wear.

Lets keep with the suit thing for a minute. Cavemen didn't wear suits. (Today's Man hadn't opened yet)  A caveman's primary job was to hunt.   Even if there were a Jos. A Bank in 20,000 B.C  the caveman wouldn't need to shop there.  Their loin cloth was sufficient to hunt in.  So why do we wear suits? When a person typically wears a suit it means that they are attending something formal or is involved in something of importance.  This might not be true all the time, but perception is reality.  If this weren't true then why do politicians, diplomats, and leaders wear suits? I would argue the reason for this is that their jobs match their attire.

How about Sundays? It's sad that people simply don't dress up anymore when they go to church  (present company sadly included)  Sometimes we treat church like it's some slumber party, wearing tacky Hawaiian shirts, gaudy flip flops,  loose fitting sweatpants and yes...slippers. I have actually seen fuzzy slippers on the communion line.  Would anyone one dress like that if they were visiting the president? Of course not.  Then why do we dress so poorly in the presence of the King of Kings?  For myself, I notice that when I put on a sports jacket and nice shoes for Mass on Sunday - I act a bit more congenial, a little more courteous, and yes more pleasant.  What a great bonus. I look good and I'm nicer. Who knew?

We as a society have lost the sense of the transcendent and the mysterious. We trivialize the important, profane the sacred and wonder why in the end our society is becoming more and more boorish. Dressing a certain way reflects who we are as a people.    How we dress impacts the way people view us.  It might not be fair, but it's the truth.  A large part of who we are comes from the way we dress. So we should dress the part. We should be that person who God created us be, full of dignity and greatness. So be like me  - get a pair cool glasses, dress up and feel good.


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