Last Updated 13 Oct 2020

The Adage All That Glitters Is Not Gold

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The adage "All that glitters is not gold" cautions us against forming our opinion about objects on the basis of superficial impressions. It also implies that one should try to ascertain the true nature of things and to understand the reality hidden behind their glittering facade. However, love for glamour is deeply embedded in human nature. Taking advantage of this inherent vulnerability of man to glamour, cash rich companies rope in glamorous film and sports personalities to advertise their goods and services.

Soap and tooth paste used by charming actresses and dashing sportsmen sell like hot cakes. Companies' sales are boosted and consumers, particularly those of the lower middle classes, forego many necessities of life to have a taste of goodies recommended by their favourite stars. Man would read super hero stories from films and see that those are real and often fell in temptations and believe that those are great but actually those are also men. hose glitters in films imagines him to be great but actually he is also a man among us.

One would expect that our reading of such stories would make us wise and prevent us from falling prey to temptations of outward beauty. But man, weak as he is, never learns from others' experience. He often courts disaster by giving into temptations. We are repeatedly warned and alerted by the wise and the experienced not to take persons and things on their face value. The most innocent masks may hide behind them the most cunning of cheats.

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But very often even the wise fall prey to tricksters. Even Sita, the consort of Lord Rama, was tempted by the glitter of the golden deer she saw bounding around her forest cottage and requested Rama to bring it for her. Rama earnestly expostulated Sita to forget the deer as it might be a trap of some villain, but she was so charmed by the guiles of the deer that she pressed him to leave the Ashram in search of it. A few minutes later, Sita heard a distress call for help in Rama's voice.

She, thereupon, requested Lakshman to go and relieve Rama from distress. Lakshman tried to convince Sita that nobody was brave enough to harm the invincible Rama, but Sita was so nervous that she forced Lakshman to leave the Ashram. In his absence, the Rakshasa king Ravana abducted Sita. It later turned out that the golden deer was actually the demon Marichi in disguise sent by Ravana to tempt Sita. Sita's temptation demonstrates the validity of the old saying "All that glitters is not gold".

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