Who is a Fool?
To identify a fool has never been an easy task. This is because the definition of a fool cannot actually fit into one individual because there are some other behaviors or acts done by this person which makes him a fool but then, that is not to discredit the person’s abilities in other things where he can easily excel or stand out as a man full of wisdom. Simply put, a wise man can be foolish and a foolish man can also be wise.
Take for example, a CEO in a very big company who is capable of commanding his workers. He can boss them around simply because he knows that everyone knows that his words are final. Everyone knows he is a strict disciplinarian. Surprisingly, you will be shocked to find out that this same man whose penetrating gaze only can make the hairs at the back of your head to stand up will find it so hard, almost impossible to boss around his children and/or his wife at home. His kids might even be the most undisciplined set of brats you may ever know. Does that make him a fool? Well, it depends…
Ok, another example. We see a man who is well known to be so frugal, almost stingy, meets a very hot lady. Next thing you know, he finds this one woman who can make his world to rock and he starts spending on her like mad and you start wondering what is going on? Does that make him a fool? Once again, it depends…
What about a student in school who is complaining that the standard of education is falling and yet he willfully participates in examination malpractice? Or the young man who reads the inscription on his cigarette pack that smokers are liable to die young and yet he goes on to light up his next stick? Will you call them fools?
So in trying to analyze the best approach in discovering who a fool is, I will simply take the easy way out which is to point out what makes someone a fool such that when you recognize such foolish acts or tendencies, you will recognize the fool in this person.
I must warn you that in your course of reading further, you may shockingly discover yourself in some of the foolish acts I will be mentioning but should that happen, please don’t fight it. It is for a reason which I will be revealing later but only to those who persevere till the end might just be able to see it.
So without much ado, let’s identify some of those things that can easily make someone a fool.
A fool is someone who wastes his time. He does not know that time, just like his money, is a very scarce resources. He allows others to waste his time too. He spends a lot of time discussing other people’s success while forgetting he can also become a success too.
You can easily recognize him because of the trivial things he is always talking about – telling you the total number of goals Wayne Rooney has scored for Manchester United, the latest beef between 50 Cent and The Game and so many other things that will hardly add any meaningful meaning to anyone’s life, most especially to his.
He can spend six good hours of facebook or 2go checking up on his “friends”, 5 good hours in front of his telly watching Big Brother Africa while expecting the babes and guys there will get on heat and f**k their brains out. Ask him to spend just 30 minutes in reading at least 30 good pages of the Rich Dad, poor Dad to understand how money works and how he is already losing the money he doesn’t even have and wasting the time he should have been using in creating such wealth while seating in front of his big flat-screen TV and he will instantly rile up and insultingly tell you to mind your own business!
A fool is someone who thinks he knows it all. He doesn’t need your opinion because he already knows that you know nothing and as such he treats ALL your opinions with so much disdain. He doesn’t listen to advices because he prefers learning from his personal mistakes.
He doesn’t want to learn anything from you after all there is nothing you can teach him which he does not know already. He doesn’t accommodate criticism because he is aware that people will always talk – even when they are talking sense.
No wonder, he hardly learns – even from his own mistakes!
Of all types of fools you can ever get, this one is the most difficult to deal with because he is always on a pedestal higher than yours and as such he can only look down on you, literally and actually!
A fool is someone who does not know he is being deceived. He is so gullible, almost like a child. He believes everyone has some good intention and so he is always ready to make excuses for people, including those that hurt him. He wants things to always be as he sees them and not as they really are.
He easily forms opinion of others based on what other people tell him without actually taking the time and pains to find out for himself if what he was told was true or not. He always needs your validation and glorification. He wants you to approve of him all the time simply because his entire life depends on it.
Something you should know when dealing with this type of fool. Mind how you criticize him. In fact, you will be doing yourself a lot of good if you avoid criticizing him at all.
Just know that sycophancy and adulation are the first and best qualities he sees in people simply because he feeds on it but then you just have to excuse him after all he does not know when he is being deceived.
A fool is someone who cannot think for himself. He is so gullible that he will believe anything you told him as long as you told him it is not a lie and that you heard it from a reliable source. As far as he is concerned, curiosity is just a waste of time, except if it borders on scandals and people’s shortcomings.
In other words, his sole interest is rumors. He is so much fascinated by rumors and gossips because that is what his world revolves around.
He also willing to act on impulse because he has heard from somewhere that it is always better to shoot first and ask questions later consequently he leaps before he looks!
Because he loves gossips, he does not know the importance of keeping secrets so you have to be careful when you are with him and watch what you say and the things you tell him because they might be used against you, one day
One other thing, you have to also be very very careful when you are dealing with this type of fool because any first impression you left on him will stick for a long time in his mind – although you can use that as an advantage for yourself because he is always easily deceived by first impression!
A fool is someone who keeps on doing the same thing and expecting different results. This is exactly where many of us play the fool, almost most of the time. We keep on doing the same thing and expecting a different result but when the expected results does not come through, we quickly look around for someone to blame – which brings us back to square one!
You see a student who only seriously starts to read when the examination is almost at hand and you still wonder why his grades are not improving. You see an alcoholic who keeps hitting the bottle and when you tell him that he needs to go for therapy, he denies by telling you that he knows what he’s doing and that he can stop anytime he wishes but the big question is does he, can he?
You see many of us hearing the same inspirational messages, reading the same motivational books and yet we still do nothing after that by taking actions immediately.
When I was reading Brian Tracy’s Goals, there was something he mentioned about people not being taught about the importance of setting goals in their lives and when I looked around me, I discovered that it like he was talking directly to me about me! I also agreed with Brian when he mentioned that many people will pass through high school without getting up to one hour lesson on the need or importance of setting goals!
My pastor, who inspired this piece I am writing now once mentioned that knowledge is not power but power actually comes from applied knowledge and I 100% agreed with him. He went further to state that those people who do nothing with what they know are simply; you guessed it right, fools of course!
Many of us know already know what is right in our minds and we might also know exactly what to do to start making things right.
Our only problem will always lie on taking action!
A fool is someone who doubts what he does not know. One of best quotes I have ever come across is this one attributed to Donald Rumsfeld. It goes as thus:
"There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."
You will agree with me that he is correct. There are so many known and unknown unknowns! But if you agree that there are things we don’t know, why then do we find it easier to close up our minds and prevent ourselves and maybe even others from learning [something new] in the process?
Get me right. I am not saying you should not doubt or argue. All I am saying is that you stand in a better position if you are making your arguments with facts!
I remember when I told some group of boys that my lecturer who studied in Russia once told us that there are some places that experience 24-hrs daylight and they burst into serious laughter. No one asked me if I confirmed that? They never even said they will check it to see if it was true of false. They just felt so comfortable laughing at me and because they outnumbered me, I was so pained because I couldn’t laugh back at their ignorance – their foolishness!
A fool is someone who does not know his purpose in life. He is always drifting waiting for someone to tell him what to do next. He won’t accept it but the truth is that he likes, in fact, enjoys servitude.
He so much believes in miracles and he will always tell you that the Lord will provide but he needs someone to remind him that until the Lord does that, he should be the one doing it, at least, for now.
When he sees people, most especially his mates who are already making it, he tells you that he is not interested in that type of life but then you still get the feeling from the shifty way he is acting that he is so envious of that very lifestyle he is condemning even as self-deception continues to take control of his life.
One other thing that you will easily identify with this fool is that he does not make plans. How could he, when he does not even know how to or why he should?
The only reason I could think of that makes people to play this type of foolish game is that such people are still unable to clearly identify what they really want in this life!
A fool is someone who loves deceiving people. One of the worst things you could do to yourself is to go about deceiving people and believing they will never find out what your game plan is. It might be fun or pleasurable at first because you are so wise and these people, they are so foolish.
But the good news is that everybody has this natural capacity to learn – and learn they must one day!
Maybe as a deceiver and due to the successes you must have had in the past in deceiving people, you must have forgotten that no matter what happens, “you cannot deceive ALL the people ALL the time!
And the biggest problem I believe you should be aware of when you have gone so far in deceiving people is that sometimes, some of these people will come to see through and learn all your tricks and there will be no more tricks left in your bag of tricks.
Some others will even take it further by learning how to take out their revenge – on who else but you, of course?!
A fool is someone who does not know who his real enemies – and also who his real friends are. He has a stereotypical mind and he expects everyone to behave exactly the same way. Today, you do something good for him and you in his good books. Tomorrow, you don’t do as he expected you to, and he immediately moves your name to his bad book – which most likely contains lots and lots of names of people who were once classified as his friend.
Understand him first before you start blaming him. He has a very short memory and he does not want to believe that people can and do change. He is not interested in knowing how you feel or why you did what you did.
If you have this type of fool as your boss, you are already in trouble because your only hope is to never enter his bad book. You have to understand that all that matters to him is him because that is one way to deal with him. But that is not even the greatest source of your worries.
You should be aware that because this person is suffering from paranoia, his mind can so easily be poisoned by other people who hate you and want to do you harm through him.
A fool is someone who does not know how or when to say no. Sometimes, we find it so hard to say no. This could be because the temptation or offer is too much, so sweet, absolutely seductive, certainly enticing, so unbelievable that we just have to give in.
But just before you give in, think one more time. What do you stand to gain or lose assuming you do or don’t take things further?
Sometimes, you will embarrassingly come to shocking realization that the answer is – nothing!
When you start learning how and when to say no, you will find out that you are gradually regaining your self control as well as controlling your bad habits. You will no longer be so impulsive or so predictable. People will come to respect your opinions because they will recognize the man in you because they will find out that you are your own man. You will also find out that you can now see things much clearer than before because you will no longer be in the habit of leaping before you look.
When you learn how and when to say no, you will suddenly discover that there are so many troubles coming your way which you could easily sidestep because they do not even concern you in the first place. You will also realize the full sense in the saying that tomorrow is another day! You will start getting the full pleasure that comes with delayed satisfaction, for sure.
But a fool will not be able to do this. He’d rather bear the hurt and put the blame on himself all the time because he’s afraid of hurting people and he does not want anyone to blame him so he first blames the whole thing on himself. You may mistake this attitude of his as being a nice person but the truth is that a lot of harm is being done already.
What type of good do you see in someone who allows others to use him all the time? I don’t call that being nice. I call it being weak!
If you are dealing with this type of fool, there is one thing you may not have realized which is that you are already in a very great danger. It is the fact that this guy might secretly hate you so much.
Why, you ask? Of course, it is simply because deep within inside him, he knows that you already know that he knows that he is a coward!
And the day he finally decides to show you that he is not a coward, believe me, you will not be prepared for the surprises plus embarrassment he might be throwing your way!
A fool is someone who is addicted to perfection. This one is a perfection freak. He wants everything to be just perfect. Not that this is a very bad thing but the problem therein is that it could be a perfect example of someone being delusional.
C’mon, we live in a very imperfect world where a lot of things don’t or never go as planned. There is no need for us to waste so much energy seeking perfection because speaking mathematically, perfection is always tending to infinity!
If this perfection freak-fool is someone who wants to go into business, he will most likely want to have everything in place before he finally sets out his foot for the long journey ahead. You will surely find out that instead of getting started immediately, he will most likely be worrying more about what his competitors might be thinking about him and how they are going to steal his customers and even his business which happens to be his brainchild from him while forgetting that in reality there is every possibility that there are so many other people who might already have this same idea and are already working on it.
So you will find him refining and refining and refining his ideas. And with each refinement, he discovers more and more troubles to surmount. In the end, he becomes afraid, gives up on the whole idea because he does not want anyone to steal his business idea – and his imaginary customers.
Delusional, that’s it.
And if he is a she who is looking for a marriage partner, she will most likely keep on waiting for the ideal man to step out from somewhere and come and sweep her off her feet, make wonderful love to her and live happily ever after with her. You will always be wondering why she is always rejecting all the available dudes who keep on coming her way. In the end, when she becomes unmarried, very old and terribly lonely, she tells other younger girls that men should not be trusted because they only know how to use you and dump you instead of telling them the ugly but simple truth which she has finally though painfully discovered that perfect men do not exist – and if they ever did, they only existed in her dreams.
If you have been reading along, you will agree with me that at some point you may have discovered yourself in some of those foolish acts aforementioned and you may have also made some internal justifications within you just to convince yourself that you are no fool.
Yes. It is expected. It just happens that we all play the fool sometimes, which was why I said in the beginning that you should not fight it.
Sometimes, we just unknowingly act the fool and play it out as if we were handed over a script. But sometimes, like the ostrich hiding its head in the sand while playing the foolish game of what-I-cannot-see-cannot-see-me, we purposely ignore the facts, close our eyes to the stark naked truth or reality and chose to continue playing the fool because we are so afraid of accepting the truth, facing the consequences and responsibility that comes with becoming capable and wise enough to face the music as well as taking on the uphill task ahead squarely.
Granted, some other times, we need to play the fool just to succeed or survive. Those people who understand seduction, persuasion, the game of power and subliminal mind control will easily know what I am talking about here. At such times, playing the fool is encouraged because it is now being done, knowingly so this article is not referring to those masters of the game.
But for those of us who have been playing the fool without realizing it, or playing the fool because he thinks it is easier to be a fool than the face the difficult task of becoming responsible for everything we do, I have this to say to all of us:
Please always bear it in mind that the biggest fool ever is someone who knows he is fooling around and still does not do anything to put an end to all that foolish acts at once! He is better described as a fool at 40 and his biggest problem is that he will most likely remain a fool forever, similar to those boys I earlier mentioned because five years later one of them came back to tell me that he just heard that that there are places around the North Pole where there is 24-hrs daylight.
You should have seen the blank cold “and so?” look I gave him as I just shrugged my shoulders and gazed at him as if I was now hearing something like that for the first time!
If he had looked closely at my face, which I doubt, he should have also seen from the frown on my face that I have long decided never to tell him anything that will enlighten him – and his co-laughing jackasses…again!
But that is exactly what being a fool will always do to one. It will not only prevent you from learning from your own experience; it will also prevent others from teaching you from their own experience, and what could be worse than that?