Wednesday, February 28

who's the fool?

Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you I am blunt and intolerant. I always think of myself as being someone who doesn't suffer fools. In fact, I've been secretly proud of it. But now I am not so sure. I've recently been taken aback by several folks who have announced that they don't suffer fools gladly. Hey, that's my line, I thought. And wait a minute, that's not the persona you present. One person just seems too nice to say such a thing. And in another case, I'm thinking: but you are such a fool, don't you see? At least this person comes across as someone I consider a fool. Someone I would have trouble working with or being closely related to. So how can this person say they don't suffer fools?

Oh dear, time for some introspection. I hope honest introspection, the only kind I want to think that I'm capable of.
  • does everyone consider themself someone who doesn't suffer fools?
  • what does it mean to not suffer fools?
  • is it just that different folks have different lenses, different definitions of fools?
  • or are we all fools, foolishly thinking we are intolerant of fools?

5 comments:

Cheese Mite said...

So you will have some fun with this discussion of the phrase and its use:
http://www.robertfulford.com/SufferFools.html

when it comes to being fools, I think we all take turns.

Kathleen said...

All of the above... though I must say that I probably wouldn't say I don't suffer fools gladly, I would probably say I do suffer fools... because I'm like that nice person that lied to you about it! :)

I don't suffer fools when not in their presence. When in their presence, I appear to put up with a lot and I often go back for more.

And I must admit, I have been foolish a time or two in my life - only occasionally on purpose.

I'm intolerant in private - I fuss and fume about the foolishness when there is no one to see! Because I was always told not to be rude... of course, that often made me overly polite.

I obviously have issues! :)

kmkat said...

We can suffer fools silently -- as opposed to gladly -- whilst inwardly raging. Or whilst composing clever ripostes and putdowns that we are much too nice to ever say out loud to the fool in question.

But we avoid said fool in the future whenever possible.

Dorothy said...

I don't mind an entertaining fool for a little while, but not for too long and not everyday.

I think the biggest thing to remember is that some people just don't get it or they use that as a barrier to their real selves.

We can all be the fool to someone else if they think differently than we do.

Birdsong said...

An interesting set of questions... I consider myself pretty tolerant, and ignore most of the fools; if someone I have to keep coming in contact with is foolish much of the time, I do try to ease away. I am less tolerant of small-minded and petty people though.