Style v. Substance

date: 2008-08-13

archive_section: emotional-intelligence

tags: essay

Is style more important than substance? No. Why? The answer to that is a bit more complex. People tend to put more weight in style than in substance, but in reality substance is what matters. A politician could say that he would end the war in Iraq and he could say it in the coolest way and be the most charismatic politician around but in the end will he end the war? Probably not.

Style is often used as scam, a charade put up to convince and, possibly, to deceive. Style is our way to show our personality, our inner self, but who is that inner self? That is what matters. The way that inner self is expressed isn’t important. People of substance know who they are and what they will and will not do. People of style will do whatever someone suggests. They are controlled by the whims of others, the stylish live to please, to portray the image that they think others want to see. People with substance are true to themselves they are individuals.

Politics are all about style, the most charismatic man or woman tends to be the one in charge. Granted, politicians need other talents but style is paramount in gaining public office. This type of politician plays on the whims of the people, he doesn’t stand for what he believes, he stands for what he believes that people want him to stand for. This is where substance becomes important. Style is useful, yes, but when is comes to leadership substance is far more important. Especially when that leadership is in a position to enact change and make decisions. Only men of substance should be placed in a position of responsibility, they will make choices based on what they believe, men of style will do what the people want, even if public opinion is wrong.

We like style and we usually make decisions based on what “looks better" but the question we ask as we are making a decision should be, which is better? What is important is what something is, not what is appears to be.