Happiness: Precept 12-1

Reference: The Happiness Rundown

12-1. Be of good appearance

It sometimes does not occur to some individuals—as they do not have to spend their days looking at themselves—that they form part of the scenery and appearance of others. And some do not realize that they are judged by others on the basis of their appearance. 

While clothes can be expensive, soap and the other tools of self-care are not that hard to obtain. The techniques are sometimes difficult to dig up but can be evolved. 

In some societies, when they are barbaric or become very degraded, it can even be the fashion to be a public eyesore. Actually it is a symptom of a lack of self-respect. 

Exercising and working, one can become very messed up. But this does not rule out getting cleaned up. And as an example, some European and English workmen manage a style of appearance even when working. Some of the better athletes, one notices, look good despite being wringing wet with sweat. 

An environment disfigured with unkempt people can have a subtle, depressing effect on one’s morale. 

Encourage people around you to look good by complimenting them when they do or even gently helping them with their problems when they don’t. It could improve their self-regard and their morale as well.



0. Make sure you have completed the exercise section at Happiness: Precept 12. Study the precept above.

1. Check the responses to the following questions for false data (see false data steps at Happiness: Prologue).

(a) “Have you been told or taught not to be of good appearance?”
(b) “Do you have any rules or ideas contrary to being of good appearance?”
(c) “Have you been led to believe that you shouldn’t be of good appearance?”
(d) “Do you know of anything that conflicts with being of good appearance?”
(e) “Do you have any false data about being of good appearance?”


2. Go over each of the following questions repetitively, until there are no more answers: 

(a) “How have others transgressed against the precept: ‘Be of good appearance’?”
(b) “How have you transgressed against the precept: ‘Be of good appearance’?”

Do a quick review to see if you did not miss any answers on this step. You should be feeling good about this step.


3. See if the following question definitely brings up some name you know of:

“Is there any specific person in your past who really transgressed against the precept: ‘Be of good appearance’?”

If no name comes up then go to step 4. if a name has come up, then continue with step 3 as follows:

“Can you recall an exact moment when you observed ___(name)___ transgressing this precept?”

If there is a realization, go to step 4. Otherwise, continue contemplating as follows, until there is some realization.

“Is there any time when you wanted to be like ___(name)___ ?” 
“Is there any time when you decided that being of good appearance didn’t matter?”
“Did you ever do anything bad to ___(name)___ ? 
(Get all possible answers)
“Are there any differences between ___(name)___ and yourself?”
“Are there any similarities between ___(name)___  and yourself?”


4. Handle any anomalies that come up on the following question by looking at the anomaly more closely. 

”Do you have any reservations about being of good appearances?”

If the anomaly does not resolve then review the precept as well as all the exercise steps above to see if anything was missed. Then do step 4 again. When there is no anomaly go to step 5.


5. Contemplate on the following question.

“Do you have any reservations about getting someone else to be of good appearance?” 

If any reservation comes up, then consider the following: 

“How would that be a problem?” 

Get answers to this question until there are no reservations.


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