Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Happens When the Weather Changes and the Emperor is Still Wearing His New Clothes

So many of us have heard of the tale of the Emperor and His New Clothes; an Emperor is talked into having clothing made of a precious material that is only visible to those who are worthy enough to see it.  While his royal court sees no material or clothing being made, the tailors convince him that it works and is only seen by those who are of a good enough pedigree. His royal court for fear of being kicked out the royal home and service, goes along with the scenario.  He has a number of fittings and when the clothing is finished (and the tailors have been paid an outrageous amount of money) there is a processional for him to show his clothing off to the rest of the citizens.
While the processional is making its way through the city, the people are looking at the king who is wearing what looks like just his undergarments, although they were told that  the special material is only seen by those who are worthy so they all pretend that they can see the clothing that had been made especially for him.  After they get a short way through the city, a young child who is still young and not understanding the lie that everyone was accepting for the sake of not upsetting the King yells out, “Mom!! He’s not wearing any clothes!!” The King overhears the young child and cringes because he himself feels that he is a fake, not wearing any clothes but refuses to show it and tries to get through the rest of the processional without showing any signs of embarrassment. 

I find the story for us in this is more than just the story of not being coerced into doing things that put us out there, making us look foolish and jeopardizing our character.  Looking at the title “What Happens When the Weather Changes and the Emperor is Still Wearing His New Clothes”  there is another side introduced.  So many times we (the King) get involved in things where we put on a good front for others and do whatever we can to hide our true selves from people (wearing clothing only seen by those worthy). We try to surround ourselves with the people (tailors) who will stroke our egos and agree with the things that we tell them and won’t question our viewpoint or  authority.  When we are ousted by a voice of clarity or truth we have a tendency to do as the King did and continue on our path, willfully undeterred by the truth ringing in our ears that we are living an unholy  lifestyle, that we are a fake…our  story is that those in our circle or those who are “worthy” in our eyes will let us just fly under the radar of living as we should because they are our friends.  We know in our minds and hearts that we are wrong, but we refuse to acknowledge the fact that we are wrong but instead draw attention to those who question us question their level of worthiness and their need to “reveal us” to ourselves.  The bad part is when people reveal us to ourselves and we publicly retaliate against them.  We choose to make a public example out of them because we feel they are trying to embarrass us but in the end, we end up embarrassing ourselves and acknowledging openly that we were in the wrong. My personal motto is: “When I am in the wrong, I should not care what I look like while trying to get right.  I may look a mess, but the end result of what I am going to be is so much better than what I am or was”.

The other side for the story is when the seasons change. If the season changed and the emperor was still parading around in his new clothes his body would still show signs of being open to the elements.  If it was raining, he would have gotten wet, if it was snowing he would have been freezing, if there was a sandstorm  or anything his skin would become chaffed.  We would expect him to take measures immediately to shield himself from the elements forgetting  that he is supposed to be wearing clothing. But how many times do the seasons change in our situations and we refuse to acknowledge them or we just deny that any changes are being made or taking place.  We stick to our dishonesty and misconceptions in the name of not being embarrassed or having our true character revealed.  Even when the situations that we have been in have been completely depleted,  we still hold on to a shred of pride or hope that we can just get by on the  feelings and opinions about us that still hold us in high regard.

So many times we need to run back home like the King should have done to get some clothes and repent of what we’ve done and ask for forgiveness but we don’t.  The backlash is when those who mean us no harm are injured by our retaliation and whatever relationship is destroyed.  Whether they are in our “royal court” or whether they are acquaintances, we damage our relationships with them by treating them badly.
Catch the video which is on of the video. (Excuse the lag in the video/audio -- I guess I need to use my camera and not my webcam next time)