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Posts Tagged ‘fool’

A Fool For God

A short little man assaults a strongly built man who is also a black-belt holder in martial arts. The strongly built man bites his lip but refuses to hit back. Instead he says "thank you" and begins to walk away. Onlookers murmur at the strong man’s action and chatter about his being a coward. The strong man pauses for a moment, calmly observes the jeering onlookers, and continues to walk away. Feeling full of himself and encouraged by the cheering onlookers, the little man follows the strong man and yells abuses after the strong man. In his head, the strong man thinks of a combination of two good punches and a quick follow-up kick that would put out the little man once and for all, but he hesitates and with a smile on his face, he continues to walk away. The little man feeling satisfied in his belief (though mistaken) that he has scared off the strong man, proudly returns to the cheers and applause of the onlookers made up of different people.

The Unknown Facts

The little man did not know that the man he assaulted and abused was a black-belt holder who came close to killing him. He did realize the strong build of the man he assaulted but because he was acting on the encouragement of the onlookers and because his ego carried him away, he failed to realize the danger in provoking an unknown person. Emotionally motivated and acting on his ego, he forgot that he was very ill and could not have taken a blow from even a kid. Some of the onlookers have just stepped out of a psychological class and wanted to see if the lecturer was right about some points he made about man, aggression, and forgiveness, but they did not know how close they came to being accomplices (or at least witnesses) to a criminal charge of homicide.

The strong man did not know that the little man was sick and that the little man would have died from the blow had the strong man delivered even a single punch with his strong fist. The strong man simply took in the insult and hearkened to the martial arts admonition to be humble and only use his martial art experience if needed for self-defence. He overcame the temptation to display his superior physical strength by pouncing on his little opponent. Rather, forgave the situation and walked away convinced that it was not worth his reaction. In the eyes of some of the onlookers, he walked away a coward and a fool but he spared himself the troubles of facing a criminal charge for homicide if he had punched the little man. Yet, to the knowledge of some of the onlookers he exhibited tolerance, forgiveness, and patience, although to the general public and even to the little man, the strong man may have appeared to be a coward and a fool.

THE REALITY

The above type of scenario plays out regularly in our daily lives whether at work, at home, on the road, at a vocation, or at an event. Such is the mechanics of character and the interpretation of behaviour, action, and reaction by men amongst fellow men. Some teachers and masters emphasize and exhibit the virtues of humility, forgiveness, tolerance, and patience, while some tend towards vengeance and the principle of getting even – "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." The reality is that man reserves the right to make decisions for himself for he will always be responsible for his actions or in-actions. Man may choose to forgive and seek revenge when provoked or "offended." He may choose to humble himself or act in vanity and egotism in the face of others. He may choose to exercise restraint, tolerance and forgiveness and thereby remain a loving being before God even when others think he is a fool. After all, man is always quick to judge and make conclusions even when he knows very little about the premise of his conclusions, and therefore far from being correct.

A FOOL FOR GOD

Vengeance (the lack of forgiveness) has never been known to resolve conflicts. Rather, it has always been known to encourage bitterness, sustain rancor, and escalate conflicts. This applies across the board in life and all our dealings and relationship with each other – whether in our relationships, businesses, jobs, or other forms of social, economical, political, or spiritual interaction. Some know that it matters not what name their fellow men call them or what adjectives are ascribed to their behaviour, principles, and lifestyles. They know when to stand up for their rights and the protection of their spaces, but they refuse to be discouraged from being truthful, honest, friendly, loving, caring, peaceful, and understanding while dealing with life. They know that what really matters is the substance and fulfilment of their words, actions, or in-actions beyond the common, ordinary and external impressions of orthodox lifestyles and dogmas.

Thus in the eyes of his fellow man, the man who does not act or react in accordance with common desires and expectations of the public or to the satisfaction of the ego and/or the lower self may appear to be a fool when he is indeed existing at a higher level of consciousness and enjoying the blessings of God with all the understanding, peace, and love that comes with it. This is only my understanding and I am still learning.

Copyright ©2004 Oliver Mbamara

Fools Are Quick To Judge

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?”

The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse. One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him.

Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. ‘Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”

The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?

‘Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”

‘Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured.

Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.

“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”

The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and disappointments are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story.

By: Max Lucado, from his book: In The Eye of the Storm.