I never really considered myself to be superficial - I never judged a person by their outward appearance - whether shoddy or sharp. It has been my experience that the person who is sharpest on the outside is shoddy in the inside and vice versa.
Yesterday, one of our black male students was scheduled to attend a luncheon and receive an award from the Penn State. The invitation instructed him to "come dressed professionally in a suit and tie". Well, not only did this well-deserving student not have a suit and tie, he had no parental support and didn't want to attend.
Well, once we got past the lack of parental support (which was no easy task - he was deeply hurt that his mother didn't make a big deal about this major achievement), we had to deal with the issue of his outer appearance. We all told him he looked fine. He was in uniform, which included high top converse sneakers, but hey, he looked good to us because we knew his character. After we all scampered around, making phone calls and pulling our resources together to try and get him the type of outfit he wanted, he finally decided that he looked fine.
I escorted him to the luncheon which was a wonderfully inspirational experience for him - and for me. When we left, he finally admitted that after all that, he really was glad that he came.
So, when I got home and looked at my little measly paycheck, I smiled. Knowing that I made a difference in someone's life is priceless.
Peace and Love.