Your Desire

16 Sep

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”  ~ Socrates

Appearance means a lot.  When I was very young, my mother used to remind us over and over again about the necessity to keep our appearance acceptable.  When we went to school, we had to be dressed appropriately.  When we went to church, the “church clothes” went on.  When we went out some place special, the special clothes came out.  Appearance meant everything.

Catholic schools seemed to understand that a long time ago.  When other schools began abandoning their dress codes, Catholic schools kept their dress codes up.  It is still common to see uniforms or a dress code policy at most every Catholic school.


There are psychologists and sociologists who will state, from many a test performed, that the people who dress up to go to school are more business-oriented than those who dress down.  The people who dress up have a different frame of mind than those who do not dress up.  In short, dress codes keep the students focused on the task at hand:  education.

Dressing up does not guarantee an “A” student.  But dressing up does seem to give that student an advantage in the attitude department.  And if the student’s attitude is all about school, that student should perform at a higher level than others.

Catholic schools may have borrowed that emphasis on dress codes from Socrates:   “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”  So, what is at the heart of your desire?  Is goodness, kindness, mercy, and love?  If so, we have to clothe ourselves with those very virtues.  We can hardly expect to be bad, unkind, merciless, and hateful and, yet, reap goodness, kindness, mercy, and love.

FAITH ACTION:  Be what you desire to appear today.