Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Virtues of being `foolish’

Tomorrow is April Fools’ Day. I often wonder what is the point of observing April 1st as All Fools’ Day when in reality, in the current social milieu, we make fool of ourselves most of the time.
Though the Day has a history and the earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1932), however, in the current social context, playing the `fool’ has its own set of virtues. The more foolish you appear to somebody the more easily your work gets done. I know from personal experience - the more intelligence you show the less favour you get. Some of my friends and acquaintances I consider smart and wise hold this view as well.
If you want to get your work done put on an act that you are a simple fool who knows nothing. The other person, often out of pity and a sense of superiority complex, would do all the work for you. The trade off is simple. You get your work done for you while the other person gets his ego massaged doing it. This is a very effective especially in the Third World countries where the bureaucrats and the clerks are often in a position to make or break your life.
So it is always better to play the fool and make others feel comfortably superior and appear more brilliant than they are and you will easily attain your objectives. On the contrary, going too far displaying one’s talents often accomplishes the opposite. For example if you enter a No Parking zone and the cop catches you there are two options. Either you pretend and say you did not know and be let off by the cop or end up paying a fine, as I have so many times, trying to play smart.
The same holds true in politics. Never outshine the master if you want to be successful. Intelligent people are perceived as a threat and their wings clipped by their political masters. On the other hand, an average person or the `fool’ is always preferred since the master is comfortable with the sense of control he or she has over a foolish person. I shall not name names but cutting across different social and political organisations across the country the story is the same – It is the `fool’ who eventually scores.
So it is always clever to play the `fool’. So be `foolish’ and celebrate All Fools’ Day in the true spirit, not by scoring brownie points over someone gullible but by projecting yourself as a `fool’ and reaping the astounding dividends.
ess bee

1 comment:

  1. Being foolish could be considered a virtue since being wise could be a baggage. As steve Jobs says, stay Hungry Stay Foolish

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