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the way of the fool


The fool or jester is the only one who can tell the King the truth. How many CEOs are sophisticated enough to have a paid fool? A real fool who tells the truth and does not merely entertain?

I think it is instructive that fool is the national dish of Egypt (foul, fava beans, great for breakfast) and is also, in Egypt, the word used for ‘fill her up with a full tank of gas’- ‘Fool’. The real fool, as opposed to the negative energy often pumped out by stand-up comics, is not afraid to make bad jokes, be unfunny and be very uncool. I think one of the most daringly avant garde paths available today is being uncool. Almost every fifty to sixty year old I meet is just as ‘cool’ and cool conscious (allowing for the natural change of interest etc) as they were when they were teenagers. Learned nothing on that score then…too cool for school really means- “I am so shit scared about looking foolish that I will never get out of my comfort zone and never try to learn anything new.” 

The fool is someone who knows the comfort zone is of very limited utility. Life happens when you venture out if it, to the place of inevitable pratfalls. Not that you’re trying to be a burk (which is foolishness), rather you have SET ASIDE what you look like, how you appear, in order to do something new, learn something new.

The Japanese talk about 'begninner's mind'- the state of transparency you need in your head to learn effectively. Try being transparent when you meet people for the first time, you may well say things that sound foolish but also happen to be true.


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