Written by walter
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Sunday, 16 January 2011

The word 'Wise', in Random House, is defined as 'having the power of discerning and judging properly as what is true or right;… judicious, prudent;… possessed of scholarly knowledge… having knowledge of magic or witchcraft.' On the other hand, the word 'fool' implies lack or loss of reason or intelligence.

There are hundreds of saying regarding these two traits such as:" The wise does at once what the fool does at last. ", (Baltasar Gracian), cf: "While the wise was surveying the river to find a safe place to cross it, a fool arrived, jumped into the river and reached the opposite bank and displayed his middle finger to ridicule the hesitant wise dude."

Now, let's stop hundreds of passersby in streets and politely ask them if they are foolish, (oops) or rather wise. I don't think you find one individual out there to say he is a fool. Anyway, who is really 'wise', and who is really foolish? Perhaps, the word 'wise' was applicable at the time of Plato, Aristotle etc.

A further probe into the word 'wise' brings us to the doorsteps of psychometrists who say some people prefer 'dealing with facts and the present, and are likely to implement tried and trusted solutions to practical problems in a businesslike and professional manner.' Can these people be called 'wise'? What about a donkey that can quickly assess a rickety bridge, and stays put despite sever beatings?

Perhaps, in the far past, good education could help an individual to raise himself to the level of wisdom status. Of course, a great majority were illiterate. However, today, many children go to school; some graduate from college, but still some of them are branded as fools.

As a matter of fact, wisdom and foolishness can be regarded as symptoms or effects. These people have been victims of a 'cause'. These people have been exploited by the cause: resulting in branding a number of them as 'foolish' and the rest as 'wise'. The cause lives among us. They cannot live without depriving other people of their natural rights. Sometimes they are seen as politicians, other times as businessmen, bankers, shop owners, technicians etc. They cheat us to live on. When we are cheated, we are called fools; if we go scot-free, we are praised as wise.

Being educated does not safeguard us against fraudulent criminals. Undoubtedly, at the time of Plato there was no electronic criminals, no automated teller machines (ATM) etc.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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