Once Hodja was invited to a very important formal banquet, but he didn't dress up for the occasion and went in his everyday clothing. Once there, he was treated with disrespect and was looked upon with contempt. No one paid him any attention; the servants ignored him and didn't even serve him dinner. After a short while. he slipped out of the banquet and went home. There he changed into his finest clothes, putting on a magnificent turban, a fine silk robe, very valuable jewelry, and a large, expensive overcoat. Then he returned to the banquet.
This time he was received with open arms. The host himself asked him to sit beside him at the highest seat and offered him a plate filled with the choicest delicacies. Much to their bewildered amazement, Hodja took off his coat, held it to the plate and said "Eat, my master, eat"
"Hodja, what are you doing?" exclaimed his astonished host.
"It is the clothes that you are honoring, not me"
Do we look within people and appreciate them for who they are, or just look at outward status symbols? Are we attracted by people's outward qualities like fame, power, money, wordly achievements etc. or do we look for internal qualities ike real peace, true happiness, their insight, inherent wisdom, and the amount of love in their hearts?
How we treat other people defines us. A person established in wisdom does not consider himself higher than people who are less successful in the material sense, nor does he feel low in the presence of people who have more material success. The roles that people play in this world are simply the coats that souls wear to a given party. Sooner or later all parties come to an end, and it's time to go home. The wise thus go beyond the outward roles and see the truth lying inside.
The following quote from the Bible is so apt for this article which I read while reading this story of Hodga-
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."