Of wisdom and fools, one cup at a time

By Jeff Smith
Special to The PREVIEW

Life can have its pitfalls and problems, but I can often outsmart them. That is why I am up in the morning, reading the Bible’s wisdom scriptures.

I must admit that Solomon’s book of Proverbs has a rather bleak view of us. We are born dumb and we will end up fools (Proverbs 14:18). That is why it tells us to get wisdom (Proverbs 4:5) and to get understanding (Proverbs 3:7). This I am trying to do.

Proverbs 10:23: “It is sport to the foolish man to do evil, but the man of good sense takes delight in wisdom.”

As I drink my coffee, I am impressed that this part of scripture pulls no punches on the subjects of good and evil, right and wrong. When those issues come up, most often I would rather see things in shades of gray because that requires less effort. Solomon’s book feels that 1) right and wrong are easy to figure out, and 2) I should make the effort to do the right and avoid the wrong if life is to be good.

When it comes to having a good time, there are things I can do that can delight, and thrill without being evil. Many don’t know this. “Raising hell,” and “ya gotta have some vices” tells me I should pick some harmful habit or give in to my preferred weakness and resign myself to the awful results that will come later. But if I am smart, I avoid as many of these stupid ideas as I can because any one them can nail me in the long run.

It’s fun when you start seeing things this way because it opens up a vast range of options that are just fine. There are great things to do, that I might not see without taking the first step of avoiding wrong. It is like the train that confines itself to the train tracks. Yeah it is straight and narrow, but you go places.

A good friend was taking a class at a junior college in a small town and one of his fellow students told him that the only good times to be had in town occurred when you turned 21. I guess the bottom of a beer can was as far as he could see. OK, so the town doesn’t offer opera or Broadway shows, but world class hunting, fishing, camping and hiking were right outside the door. He couldn’t see that?

I like Tim Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story” and the star a number of movies, as well as the TV show “Home Improvement.” When the show ended, Zachery Ty Bryan, who played Tim’s older son Brad, said in an interview that Allen had brought a high level of ethics to the show. That made sense to me because I didn’t find the humor so sleazy. Long before then, Allen had done time in prison for drugs. That was where he polished up his style of humor. After that, I guess he learned a smarter, better way to have a good time.

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This story was posted on October 30, 2014.