Saturday, January 25, 2020
Better To Be Thought a Fool
You probably know someone like my friend, Barry. I use the term "friend" loosely because, frankly, he can drive me crazy. Barry doesn't know when to quit talking and he has an opinion about everything. The trouble is, he states his opinions as facts and so I never know what to believe. I find him interesting in small doses because he is well-read, pretty smart, and kind of funny. After a while, though, I tend to tune him out because he's just too much.
I have another friend, Michael, who is pretty quiet. He doesn't usually say a lot but, when he does, those who know him listen because he's also a smart guy. I've noticed, though, that people who don't know him tend to discount what he says because he is so quiet.
It reminds me of the saying "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." This quote has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but that can't be verified, so I chose to leave attribution off of the graphic above.
No doubt, Barry falls into the latter category. I really have very little respect for him because of his incessant talking and how he often pretends that his opinions are fact.
On the other hand, Michael is a member of the first group, unfortunately. I do wish he'd share his thoughts more often because he always seems to be spot on when he does. Still, I think I'd rather be in his company than Barry's.
There are a couple of proverbs that address this as well. "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28 and "The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words." Proverbs 10:19.
In this world of a constant barrage of talking and opinions and "fake news", which kind of fool would you like to be?
Personally, I think we need to find a middle ground between Barry and Michael to really be effective. We want people to respect what we have to say and the best way to do that is to know what you're saying and speak the truth. As Proverbs 15:23 says, "Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time."