Monday, June 02, 2008

Dark Thoughts

Today I've spent a lot of time musing about whether there really is a difference between being a fool and being stupid. I tend to think that there is a distinction, as it's possible to make foolish choices, to behave foolishly, while knowing better. So, if I'm right about this, then I'm a fool, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that I'm not stupid. Except, if one isn't stupid, then one knows exactly how foolish one is, which is no comfort at all.

And then, if there really is no difference, then not only am I a fool but I'm an excuse-making, justification-seeking fool. And that, well, would make me a supremely stupid fool.

I'd say more, but I don't feel like it. Suffice it to say that I've been listening to this song an awful lot, which probably isn't exactly a pathway to not having the dark thoughts about my innate foolishness.


Maggie said...

As someone who considers herself smart, but who has made foolish choices in love, I would argue that there is a difference... but that the results are exactly the same for both. Which is not comforting either.

I feel you, sister. Hang in there. ((Crazy))

Susan said...

Fool is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps a fool, sure. Or perhaps an idealist. Or someone keeping faith in a student, when a positive outcome is a long shot. Or a person keeping the heart open to the possibility of love even if the odds aren't good.

I'm not "stupid" about it, in that I do take good care of myself and the risks I take are conscious and thoughtful, with an honest eye on the possible consequences. But I'd rather make a conscious choice to be a fool and accept the consequences of my actions - for better or for worse - than to live the life of the cynic. And I think the world would be a better place if more folks did. I don't protect myself from pain as much, but I have the peace of knowing that I did all that I could in the areas that matter to me. And I'll take that.

life_of_a_fool said...

I have this same conversation with myself! I love Susan's comment, though that might just feed into the excuse making/justifications I am sooo good at. I do tend to give myself some credit for knowing I'm stupid/foolish -- that's got to be worth something right?? And not being entirely jaded and cynical *is* a good thing - right???

Sisyphus said...

Or, like They Might Be Giants sing, "Oh I was young and foolish then, and I'm old and foolish now!