Written by Uswa Zainab
The proverb means that appearances are deceptive. Things are not what they seem. It is an age of hypocrisies. A butcher with malice in his heart poses for a saint; a rogue poses for a gentleman, vice takes the garb of virtue and hypocrisy gives herself the aid of truth. The treacherous person puts a smile on his lips; the ugly woman makes herself attractive by applying powder to her face. We should, therefore, always remember that there are men and women, and every stone is not gen. Cheaper metals like copper, brass, etc., can be polished and made to shine as though they are gold. What applies to metals also applies to various other features of life. Hence the proverb: “All that glitters is not gold.” Science also teaches us that we should not blindly accept a thing unless we have demonstrated its truth. We must examine things closely. We must not be satisfied with others’ opinion about a person but watch and observe the way he conducts himself and the deeds he performs. We should not, therefore, readily believe in what people say, nor should we be taken in by the mere exterior. We should try to judge a man’s real worth.
(Gold is unquestionably a precious metal. It has a very bright and glittering appearance. There are many other materials which shine as brightly as gold, but these, when minutely examined and carefully analysed, are not found to have the same intrinsic value as gold. For instance, a gilt ornament, studded with rich gems and brilliantly polished, shows itself off like gold, but when put to an acid test, its real worth is revealed. So the proverb signifies that the value of a thing is not to be judged simply from its gorgeous and glittering external look, but everyone should judge things in the light of their intrinsic worth. This well-known proverb has a significant bearing upon the life of human beings. Human life is nothing but a bundle of truths, half-truths, and untruths or vanities. Vanities and facts appear in such gaudy colours that men often regard them as truths or realities.
In boyhood, everyone is disposed to set a value to a thing by its exterior. A villain who puts on the look of honesty and piety is very often taken for a saint or sage; smiling fellow passes for a friend, a scowling man for a foe, but a braggart, with an affected behaviour and polished talk, surpasses a refined gentleman. But as one grows older, one comes to realise this colossal folly and gets at the truth that things are not always what they appear to be. “Appearances are deceptive.” Truly it has been said, “One may smile and smile, and yet be a villain.” The converse of this proverb, namely, All that does not glitter may be gold, is also true. The world can boast of men who are every inch great, but nobody can judge their intrinsic value from their external looks. A sagacious man may be ugly in appearance. Really virtuous and honest men may not be looked upon as such, because their semblance at times goes definitely against them. So we should not hazard our opinion about anything unless we know its intrinsic worth. Similarly, we should not form a hasty opinion about anybody unless we know his true character.
Gold is a metal possessing many properties. One of them is that it glitters, that is, emits a bright lustre. But to glisten is not its only virtue, not even the most characteristic of its merits; for, gold is prized for its intrinsic worth, its many-sided utility for human life. And gold might be valued as much even if its external glitter would not be there. If gold is to be judged by its external lustre, then it would remain in no way different from many other metals that can be made to glisten as brightly as, even more brightly than, gold. A gilt ornament, made of the bases metal, has the same external appearance as gold. But the gilt is a delusion, only to cover the intrinsic worthlessness of the real metal within. Gold does not only sparkle but also serve many useful purposes at all times and under any condition. But the gilt metal would lose its lustre completely and be of no better use than it is originally of, as soon as the gilt is removed. So it is never wise to judge anything by its external appearance. Nor is it wise to consider two things equal because they may be externally similar. Everything on earth has to be judged by its intrinsic merit. Life is full of snares. The world is full of shows and delusive appearances. Vice frequently puts on the garb of virtue, and hypocrisy passes for sincerity.
About the writer:
Miss Uswa Zainab is an apt student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali, one of the distinguished grammarians in the contemporary world. She has gone through his 4-month course on Freelance Creative English Writing and Basic to Advanced Grammar. Pursuing graduation in the field of computer science and studies in English writing, she relishes writing articles and blogs on diverse themes: academic articles – everyday science, current affairs – and creative blogs – technology, beauty, fashion, entertainment, etc.
Name of the Student: Miss Uswa Zainab
Total Articles/Blogs: 12
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Creative English Writing & Article Writing
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