Suffering Fools

There are two types of people–no, wait, I already wrote about that. Actually, last week I was in a conversation with two friends. We got into the question, are people good or bad.

We could talk theology–all people are sinners (bad).

We could talk the wisdom of Carl Sandburg (American poet) who told a story of a farmer standing by his field who was approached by two strangers, one after the other, who asked what kind of people lived in the area. He asked how the people were where they came from. One described evil, contentious people; the other described good, fair, caring people. The farmer told them both, “Well, I suppose the people around here are pretty much like the people where you came from.”

Most of us would agree that in our normal lives most people we meet are good-hearted, kind people. Unless you work on Wall Street, I suppose. There do exist angry, aggressive or otherwise emotionally disturbed people whom you learn to avoid.

Then there is the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. Today’s readings took me through chapter 26. It talks about fools. About the futility of talking with fools. About avoiding fools.

Then it occurred to me–discernment. 3,000 years ago, humans had already figured out that there are different types of people in the world. Learn to discern the types and then which ones to avoid.

Are people basically good or bad? Yes. You can choose which to foster relationships with.

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