The Real Fool

April 1st. We all know it. It’s the fool’s day – the day we all are extra cautious so as to not being fooled by pranksters and their pranks. But who is a real fool? Is it the one who got pranked? Or the one who played the prank? Or are they both equally foolish? This may sound a bit strange, but we live in a time where we struggle to define foolishness and wisdom.

There’s a short story narrated by Jesus in the Bible, about a rich man who reaped a great harvest. And he thought to himself, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him “Fool! This night you will die. Then who will get what you have stored up?”

The story is intended to tell us that we should be on our guard against all greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. We may be well-educated, wealthy and influential, but if we consider these as synonyms of success, we are probably fooled like many are on Fools’ day.

So, what then is being wise? There is a song in the Bible which has these words, “Teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” It is when we realize the finitude and fragility of life that we can become truly wise. This is what can help us realize that this limited-period gift called life is not meant to just be spent focussing on accumulating for ourselves; it is meant to make an impact and pour meaningfully into others as best as we can.

This fools’ day let’s ponder on where we stand. Have you succumbed to the biggest prank played by this world? Let this be food for your thought today.

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