All too often we take ourselves too seriously. We want to appear respectful and proper – anything but foolish. But there’s wisdom to foolishness when it also allows for a lighthearted approach to life.
Foolishness likely doesn’t top anyone’s list of virtues. It’s generally considered an immature trait to be avoided.
And inasmuch as foolishness is willful ignorance or a lack of sound judgment this is a good thing. It’s foolish to keep falling into the same ditch over and over.
But there’s another type of foolishness that is actually wise.
Here the fool is able to see things as they really are and bring to light issues otherwise missed.
Good comedy serves this function.
The comedian is able to address many issues typically off limits in polite society. And through humor he’s able to speak truth we would likely dismiss elsewhere.
In this respect, comedy is serious business we should probably engage more often.
And this wisdom of foolishness is needed in our daily lives as well.
Life is full of many goofs and mistakes that are best just to laugh at. And rather than trying to hide our life’s bloopers the wise fool simply laughs and moves on.
The wisdom of this foolishness is that it allows us not to take ourselves too seriously – either desperately trying to avoid goofs or living in shame when we can’t hide them.
Of course, finding humor in life is not the same as being demeaning, whether of others or of ourselves. Allowing for lighthearted humor doesn’t deny our basic dignity.
But, ironically, we also risk denying our humanity when we don’t honor the good foolishness of life.
Regularly welcome the wise fool into your life. He brings much laughter, insight, and freedom otherwise missed.