The fast way to make bad decisions


Is foolishness increasing or do we just see more of it today? The speed and ease of small bite, anonymous communications certainly make it easier for brash foolishness to shout and harder for measured, calm wisdom to be heard amid the noise.

Foolishness is nothing new--some of the best stuff written in any genre is thousands of years old and deals with foolishness. It’s called wisdom literature.* and its authors range from Solomon to Shakespeare. Wisdom is ancient; it is said that wisdom was present at the beginning, but foolishness arrived late, though loudly, to the party. Today, however, we see very little wisdom while foolishness multiplies like cockroaches.

Much of social media is foolishness disguised as wisdom. Fake news is foolishness--people who believe or propagate fake news are behaving foolishly. Wise people calmly wait for the facts of a thing to emerge, believing, as my grandfather said, the truth will out. Fools prefer to make judgments based on partial and emotional arguments. Jumping to a conclusion is foolish. Seeking truth is wise. A fool entertains gossip. A wise person spurns it. Wise people exasperate fools. Fools test the patience of wise people.

There is a price to pay for foolishness. Fools are often stressed. Their decision may work temporarily, but are often brutish, animalistic, based in fear, force, and anger, or indecisively frozen (fight, flight, freeze), and they tend to fail spectacularly. Fools create no lasting success.

There is also a wage paid for wisdom. Wisdom is relaxed--its decisions are creative and enduring. Fools tend to be negative and die young while wise people tend to enjoy life.

Television news, with its hyperbole and breathless headlines, panders to fools. Real journalism stems from wise reporting of facts. The idea that a nation can be ruled by laws bases its claim on the slow, methodical pace of wisdom. The mob prefers fast foolishness.

You decide to jump into foolishness or to wait for wisdom. You decide.

*Check out the old book Ecclesiastes to understand how mindset affects finding the good life.