Who Is A Fool?
How does one answer the question, "Who is a fool?"
A fool is defined in the dictionary as one lacking in judgment or prudence.
According to the Bible, fools despise wisdom and instruction, reject knowledge, meddle, engage in idle talk and walk in darkness.
In his book, "How To Stop Worrying And Start Living," Dale Carnegie wrote a chapter titled, "Fool Things I Have Done." He kept a folder (labeled FTD) in a file cabinet containing written records of the foolish things he was guilty of. He admits if he had been honest with himself his cabinet would be bursting at the seams with FTD memos.
Mr. Carnegie's purpose of maintaining this file was to review the folder on a consistent basis in order to deal with his toughest problem: the management of Dale Carnegie.
He then suggests that his readers keep a record of the fool things they have done and to criticize themselves on a periodic basis.
Perhaps an FTD folder would list those who engage in foolish behavior as having done one or more of the following:
-Seek compliments in an attempt to gain human approval; ("Flatterers are the cleverist of all mind readers -they tell us exactly what we think" - Robert Surtees).
-Thrive on sympathy while doing nothing to help themselves;
-Procrastinate until a good opportunity is lost forever;
-Say "yes" to anything asked of them, for fear of not being liked;
-Speak their minds at the expense of hurting others;
-Talk constantly about themselves and complain about their problems no matter how small or insignificant;
-Demean others in order to feel better about themselves;
-Ignore their family while doing things for others;
-Neglect their bodies, allowing their immune system to break down;
-Waste valuable time due to the habit of laziness;
Though difficult to admit, I've done most of the above at different intervals during the course of my life. As a result, often I have been put in my place. Over the years I have received a firm education in the art of getting along with others.
Here are a few important lessons I have learned from my foolishness:
-I've learned that to confess, "I was wrong, please forgive me for being foolish" is an act of courage and wisdom.
-I've learned that as long as I'm alive I'll continue to go through seasons of foolishness. This is okay, for experience is my greatest teacher.
-I've learned that perfectionists are fools to believe they or anyone else can be perfect.
-Most important, I've discovered I'm not the only fool on this earth.
Reading about the foolish behavior of others has been a positive source of encouragement to me.
-Einstein said he was wrong ninety nine percent of the time;
-Benjamin Franklin listed his serious faults and spent weeks at a time battling his shortcomings;
-Napoleon Bonaparte said at St. Helena, "No one but myself can be blamed for my fall. I have been my own greatest enemy - the cause of my own disastrous fate."
-King Saul said, "Behold, I have played the fool and erred exceedingly."
So, who is a fool?
Carl Sandburg wrote, "To never see a fool, you lock yourself in your room and smash the looking glass."
I personally believe that those who repeat the same negative behavior, who never learn, and refuse to admit they are wrong - these are the "fools that grow without watering." -Thomas Fuller
However, those who admit they are a fool have learned the secret of happiness, for this is the first step to becoming wise.
Sincerely, Blessings to all, Sparklea :)
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