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“What a Fool Believes”

June 23, 2013

By Moshe Katz

A fool is not the same as an idiot. There are many very intelligent, highly educated fools. Yet they are fools just the same and their foolishness can lead the world into disaster.

Neville Chamberlain was clearly a classic fool. Perhaps the most foolish scene in all of modern history is Chamberlain waving that worthless piece of paper signed by himself and the embodiment of evil, (Adolph Hitler), and proclaiming that he had achieved, “Peace in our times”.

What he had in fact achieved was leading the world into a terrible war, much of which might have been prevented had a wiser man, such as Churchill, been in power.

Israel too has many foolish leaders. While our enemies prepare for war – these Israeli leaders sing songs of peace, making fools of themselves for all to see. They are leading Israel into death and destruction. Any objective intelligent outsider can easily see the foolishness in their behavior. And yet they continue with their undeniable foolishness.

How do people become such fools?

I will try to answer.

Sometimes we want something so badly that we are willing to believe and trust anyone who tells us what we want to hear. Even usually wise men, who should know better, allow themselves to be lulled into a sense of false security and trust. They allow themselves the pleasure of believing what common sense forbids.

We want to believe that others are good. We want to believe that others are telling the truth. We want to be happy. No one likes a prophet of doom.

So someone tells us this is a super great opportunity. They tell us sweet lies and we buy into it. Soon we have lost thousands of dollars as we allowed others to talk us into foolish investments.

Sometimes we believe lies because the truth is too harsh and brutal to accept. During the Holocaust many Jewish leaders believed the Nazis and told their constituents that the Nazis were only going to “relocate” them and that there were no death camps. This was much easier to believe than the cold truth that one group of people had planned to kill another group of people for no good reason; men, women, children, the elderly.

Ah, “what a fool believes”. “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”. The lies sound so much better than the truth. Part of our being wants the lies so badly that we are practically begging to be lied to, and “a fool and his money are quickly parted.” In our case; a fool and his ancestral land are quickly parted. How we love to believe the lies. Lies suit us so much better than a harsh and bitter reality.

In martial arts there are also fools. No discipline is exempt from this deadly disease. Some wish to believe their sensei that these smooth fancy flashy techniques really work in real life situations. There is no proof for this, no logic, but aah… to believe feels so good.

Sometimes the truth really sounds bad; “We have no easy solution to this situation”, or “All we can hope for here is to minimize the damage.”

As Krav Maga instructors we must be brutally honest. We must test techniques as best as we can, we must refuse to believe all that sounds smooth and tempting. As individuals we must be careful not to trust leaders too much, “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters” (Bob Dylan).

Truth is often painful. Hard training is often painful. Lies can lull you to sleep, and to an early death. Chose Life, chose truth, chose freedom.

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