Summary: This is a talk I gave our kids about appearances. How good things can actually be bad and how we need to get over stereo typing.

Mike wanted a talk on appearance. So he asked around to see who the best looking leader was. And since my wife did not want to do it, he asked me. =-)

Don’t raise your hands, but which category or categories do you fit into:









Still, with out raising your hands, do like the category you are in?

Do you want to move into the “better” category?

However, maybe that category is not always the better one.

Do your “cool” kids at school drink or do drugs? Do they smoke or cheat on tests?

They may appear to be cool and you really want to be accepted, right? So do you go along with them and smoke, drink, cheat, etc?

I want you to know that looks can be deceiving.

For instance, do you know what I have in this glass? (HOLD UP GLASS OF WATER)

How about this glass? (HOLD UP GLASS OF BLEACH)

Actually, one is full of water. The other is full of Clorox bleach. Both look nice. Both are liquids. Both feel wet. But only one can quench your thirst. Which one would you drink? With out looking closely or smelling them, you may not be able to tell. I have a story about my grandma in law. Charity’s crazy grandma. She had a cup of Clorox bleach in a glass. I don’t know why. I said she was crazy. But after sometime, she forgot she poured it. Then she got thirsty. Well, needless to say, she saw this nice cup of “water” and took a big ‘ol drink. Guess what. The ambulance came. She was taken to the ER. She had to get her stomach flushed. All because she took a drink of something that appeared to be good. Now, she made it out just fine, so I figure I can make fun of her. Which I do any time I can.

Looks can be deceiving. Remember the “cool” ones that do the smoking and drinking? Do you participate? To me, it’s not cool. See, I did hang out with the “cool” kids. I went to the drinking parties. But one thing different was between me and my friends. I did not drink and I did not smoke. I probably should not have gone to the parties. But I did go. I just chose not to drink. I chose not to smoke. I chose not to chew.

Remember last week Mike talking about how he got picked on and it bothered him until the day he said, “God, I am yours and you are mine.”? Then he stood up to Merv. Mike did not let peer pressure get to him. That is what I did. I was upfront with my friends. I told them. I do not, will not, or have not drank. So do not even tempt me. Do not even ask me. Do not even think about it. Sure, I went to the parties. But when I got there, they always had Mountain Dew in the fridge. They knew where I stood. They knew I could not be pushed. And they accepted me for that.

It may sound like I did the right thing. I was upfront with them. I did not drink. I could not be tempted. The bad thing is, back then I thought by going and not drinking, was fine. I should not have even gone. This appearance thing might have backfired. Even though I did not drink, people did see me there. Don’t know what they were thinking. But maybe I gave the wrong appearance.

Was I perfect? No. Think about the goofiest person in your school. They may look odd. They may talk odd. They may act odd. We had a guy named Artie. He was a goofball. He looked odd, talked odd, and acted odd. A lot of people made fun of him. Although I did not make fun of him, I did not defend him either. He was the person that sat by himself at lunch.

Anyway, we had our class reunion a few months ago. I was with my best friend at the only non-drinking table, and in came this guy. He was handsome, he was very sharply dressed, very nicely built, and he had this confidence about him. He looked sort of familiar, but I could not place a name. Well, after a while, we found out it was Artie. He had blossomed into this cool, hip looking person. After graduating High School, he said that he wanted to be as far away as possible from our town. He went to college in Florida and is now a teacher in one of the high schools. Who would have thought that this goofball would transform to a good-looking, confident, smart person? To be honest, I never would have thought it. I could not get past Artie’s appearance and actions in high school. I did not get to know the “inside” of Artie. I did not get to know the real Artie. To bad. He might have been a good friend.

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