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To be wise in a time of foolishness


Last updated 7/31/2008 at Noon

Why is it that some people never learn? They play with foolishness.

Here are some basic rules in life. Never drive without a spare tire. Don’t push your luck on an empty tank. If you plant a tomato seed, you will get a tomato plant. Honesty is the best policy. A lie will eventually catch up with you. Greed does the same.

The Book of Proverbs says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver and gold.” “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail.” (Proverbs 1:7; 22:1, 8)

This age we live in is an age of technology. We have learned to split the atom, take a huge object made of metal and fly it into the sky, create a handheld device and speak to a person thousand of miles away (cell phone), yet we haven’t learned to solve the problems of poverty, disbelief, conflict, hate, and greed. We tend to blame others for the problems we have. Yet all of us live in one house; it’s called Earth.

The ancients have passed on to us a wisdom that we need to revisit every day. That wisdom has a source we call God, the seat of benevolence, love, charity, and hope. To claim otherwise is foolishness. The height of wisdom was manifest in Jesus, the Christ, whose teachings hold truth, tested and proven.

Once, when Mr. La Guardia, the famous ex-mayor of New York, was presiding at a police court, they brought a trembling old man before him charged with stealing a loaf of bread. He said his family was starving.

“Well, I got to punish you,” said Mr. La Guardia. “The law makes no exception, and I can do nothing but sentence you to a fine of ten dollars.”

Then he added, after reaching into his pocket, “And here’s the ten dollars to pay your fine. And now I remit the fine.”

Then, tossing the ten dollar bill into his famous oversized hat, he said, “Furthermore, I’m going to fine everybody in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a man has to steal bread in order to eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”

The hat was passed and an incredulous old man with a light of Heaven in his eyes left the courtroom with 47 dollars and 50 cents.

(Florello Henry La Guardia was mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945. 7700 Illustrations, p. 422).


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