This is an actual untouched photo (we have the photographer's word for it?), albeit misleading. The stork is not leaving a vapor trail across the sky, it is actually soaring gracefully miles lower than several jetliners flying overhead in the distance.
Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream;
Highlows pass as patent leathers;
Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers.
So they do.
Black sheep dwell in every fold;
All that glitters is not gold;
Storks turn out to be but logs;
Bulls are but inflated frogs.
So they be,
(Dialogue between characters Buttercup and The Captain from Gilbert and Sullivan's musical, HMCS Pinafore.)
I have written before about an old baseball mentor who drilled into me the saying: "Things are not always what they seem." For the life of me, I cannot remember now why he uttered the expression so frequently but I recognized then, as I do now, the wisdom in those words.
The accompanying photograph of a stork seemingly leaving behind a vapor trail and the wry, humorous observations of Little Buttercup in her exchange with the Captain in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore are fun illustrations of the fact that things are not always what they seem. William Shakespeare was another who cleverly incorporated similar scenarios into several of his famous works.
Something I read last week introduced a different twist to the expression that I had never properly considered. When we meet someone for the first time, it is only natural that we wonder whether they remind us of someone we already know. Something about their appearance, the way they talk, or their mannerisms leads us to make comparisons. Our subsequent inclination to either like or dislike the individual is influenced to some extent, by how much we like or dislike the person we have been reminded of.
This type of reaction is ingrained in us but in truth it is not always the best basis on which to form a lasting opinion. Given time, that initial reaction or unfounded judgement may well prove to be totally wrong. And, if that is true of people, it is even more true of circumstances that we encounter on a daily basis.
Snap judgements have potential to lead to false comparisons that can be quite unfair and damaging. We would do well to remind ourselves that things are not always what they seem...Or, to put it another way, you can't judge a book by its cover.