It’s a joy to present this foolish drawing for day one of ‘What a Fool’ week!
Who is a Fool?
How do you know when someone is a fool and when they are not? Obviously not all big busted women and body building men are fools so why did I choose to show them together? Because they were fun to draw, of course. No, seriously, it’s because they are representations of those who are focused and obsessed on one shallow or dangerous thing while ignoring the larger reality they live in. They are oblivious to the high cliff they are standing on. That, to me, is the definition of a fool. And it’s not that a fool goes looking for another fool. They just go looking for someone like them, and that turns out to be another fool.
What a Mirror Doesn’t Show
You might think that me of all people would be the one to say, ‘Don’t worry about what others think of you.’ But the truth is we all have a bit of the fool in us. How self-aware we are of those foolish parts is the key to moderating them so they don’t send us over a cliff of some sort. One of the best ways to be self-aware is to be other-aware. What I mean is we often don’t see ourselves from but one side. In the mirror we see a front view for example, we don’t see our profile. We don’t see our back in the mirror. That is why, if you have a partner, you might ask him or her to see how you look from the back. Is there a tag showing, a stain on your dress, a big patch of cat hair on your bottom? Having someone else see you helps you see yourself better.
Caring What Others Think
The same is true in your behaviors and words, not just your knit sweater. To have friends and family who you trust and who trust you to listen is really important. To have good and honest feedback in work and play is critical to growth. You hear how others see you and you can make a choice about whether what they said is important or not, whether it’s actually a fair criticism or not. And if that is the case, then what you heard from another person then becomes something you believe as well and can decide to work on from the inside. It’s part of how you see yourself now. And that means you are more self-aware than you were before. That is a good thing.
Overdose of Other
Of course, a big problem in many societies is that there is too much attention paid to what others think. Your life becomes all about satisfying the expectations of others. You must be this way, you must believe this, you must respond like this, you must wear this, and for God’s sake, you must NOT wear that! And if you don’t, you are shunned and bullied and made fun of. And as hard and scary as it is to withstand that and decide for yourself if you do or do not want to do, believe, respond, wear this or that, it is truly the only way to ensure you don’t become that other sort of fool, the fool who is so other-aware that they cease to have a self to be self-aware about.
Taking a Stand
It is much better to take your stand as early as you can, with courage, with grace, with forgiveness for the person coming at you, and most importantly, with humor and a smile. If it’s late in the game, you can still do it. It’s harder, but it’s also more rewarding to finally let the world know, this is me, and this is not. No one is a fool who does that with love in their heart.
Drawing by Marty Coleman, who looks just like that guy.
Trivia Of The Day answered
Trivia question from last week:
If a Saint is depicted with three balls, who is he?
Answer: You know him really well, It’s SANTA CLAUS!
St. Nicholas gave 3 gold balls (or sacks of gold depending on the story version) to an impoverished father who could not afford the dowry needed to have his 3 daughters get married. Check it and other symbols for St. Nick here.