By Promod Puri
Looking at the Annual International Days lineup, almost every day of every month, there is one dedicated day that highlights a campaign, promoting a cause, or marking an occasion to forge fun and celebration with an underlined message.
From Women’s Day and Zero Discrimination Day to World Water Day and Earth Day, World Bee Day, Malaria, Poetry, Pulses to World Tea Day, Tuna Day, Dance Day, Jazz and Bicycle Day, Friendship Day, Teachers Day and Chess, Philosophy, Toilet, Clean Air for Blue Skies Day, International Day of Happiness, and the listing goes on in the packed calendar of committed dates for one cause or the other. Most of these days are observed and promoted by the United Nations.
The special days highlight issues, concerns, or campaigns from human rights to human needs and deeds. In the scroll of proclaimed days, there is one day that deserves its proper appreciation and boost.
It is the International Fools’ Day. Earnestly.
Of course, we already have April Fool’s Day on the first day of the month. But let us give the traditional custom of practical jokes, hoaxes, or harmless pranks a little more elaboration and celebration to recognize the fact we all carry an eccentric strain of foolishness within our creative and intellectual cognitive senses.
We are fools or do foolish things once a while or quite often. Then why not celebrate them as these turn over to be Life’s experiences?
It is an inner fool within us that behaves from time to time in mischievous and playful ways, an inner child who is cheerful and lighthearted.
Foolishness is not stupidity. The latter is a lack of intelligence. Being foolish sometimes is to err in understanding, poor judgement or making unwise decisions. Impulsivity and outside influences also contribute to mindless behaviour once a while. It is all-natural behaviour we crash into periodically.
Thinking takes time and energy or brainpower to analyze a situation and make the decision. Instead, we take a shortcut based on pre-existing mindset opinion. And this is where foolishness can occur.
“It was foolish on my part” is an expression often heard when we logically or sensibly recognize or accept the folly later. “To err is human,” and to take it is “divine.”
Intellectuals and philosophers seem to agree that foolishness a part of human nature and expression. “I was young and foolish then; now I am old and more foolish,” Mark Twain says.
About April 1, he remarks, “this is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”
Another quote from him, “Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.”
Albert Einstein asserts: “before God, we are all equally wise, and equally foolish.”
To accumulate wisdom, Steve Jobs suggests “stay hungry, stay foolish.”
While Jobs’ “stay hungry” means never being satisfied and pushing, “stay foolish” is interpreted as a natural human behaviour of doing things that we try but are futile. However, it presents an experience of foolishness that helps us correct ourselves.
Modesty demands the admission of our foolish remarks or acts.
Foolishness is pervasive. In its admission, something positive emerges from negative that deserves April 1 as an International Fools’ Day.
On this lively and fun day, let us be authentic to celebrate our inner flirtations with comical and unapologetic foolery. With exuberant pleasure, let us respect our foolishness. Be silly for one day, loosen up, share jokes, and make fun.
After all, as famous wit, Oscar Wilde says, “life is too important to be taken seriously.”