Don’t “cultured pearls” sound beautiful? The name conjures up images of sophistication, romance, elegance… But actually, in relation to jewellery at least, cultured means one thing: fake. That’s right. While plain old, no added extras, “pearls” may sound a lot less interesting, they’re actually the Real Deal. And as such, they’re worth quite a packet, unlike their beautifully christened alternatives.
To be honest, I think cultured pearls teach us a lot about life. They sound beautiful and sophisticated, and they look utterly flawless, but let’s be honest, they’re not anywhere near as valuable as “wild” pearls. Just like wealth in and of itself. Being rich looks amazing. It sounds amazing. But actually, it’s not that amazing, because it’s not worth a penny in the World to Come. Sure, it looks good now, but in forty, fifty years, what’ll be left of riches, when you have departed to Gehenna or Gan Eyden? Nothing. And the same can be said for beauty, a trait far overvalued by modern society.
It’s not lustre or beauty or a nice name that matters. At the end of the day, it’s about who you really are. And even if you look or sound a little less attractive than those around you, their beauty will fade, but your commitment to Torah and Mitzvot won’t. So let’s focus on what’s on the inside, because that’s what truly matters.