We are friends.
So Ernie and I made a friends decision.
We decided to meet and walk the mall on Saturday mornings, every other week, between 7:30 and 8:30.
We decided to do this because we realized we needed to get more exercise into our routine.
At our first mall-walking hike last Saturday we were hot with enthusiasm. I dressed in my relaxed fit stone washed jeans, a 1997 red basketball national champion t-shirt, and scuffed but comfortable yellowing Adidas running shoes. Ernie dressed in a 100% polyester black jogging suit with green stripes down the arms and legs and a pair of Nike walking shoes … never worn.
We were two aging men (not two aging athletic men) pretending to exercise in order to get in shape.
We tried to blend in with the other mall walkers. We walked the first level of the mall at a non-embarrassing pace, which means we didn’t slow down to window shop, and walked our way toward the stairs to level two.
The plan was to do three laps of the malls’ two levels. We figured this would take us an hour. That’s when Ernie asked, “Do you do foolish things?”
- “You mean like walking the mall?” I joked.
“I don’t think that qualifies as foolish.” Ernie frowned.
- “OK, foolish as in …?”
“Something self-demeaning or something you might get busted for.” Ernie pumped his arms as we walked.
- “Well yeah sure. Everybody has done something they’re not proud of at least once, don’t you think? Why do you ask?” I stumbled. Walking and talking at the same time was a bit of a challenge. I hurried to catch up with Ernie.
“I’m just thinking about how much time I’ve wasted by participating in repetitive foolishness.”
- I wanted to stop and think about how foolishness applied to me, but I kept pushing forward. I said, “Oh … that’s interesting.”
Foolishness. Noah Webster in his 1828 dictionary defined foolishness as
- Folly; want of understanding.
- Foolish practice; want of wisdom or good judgment.
- In a scriptural sense, absurdity; folly.
Webster’s definition is convicting. I’m guilty of behaving with an absence of good judgment or wisdom. It isn’t that I was ignorant. I knew better. If I’m honest with myself, I more than likely acted out of craziness and defiance.
One antonym of foolishness is discretion (wise judgment).
Discretion is my goal. Every time I’m tempted by foolishness it’s an opportunity to use discretion.
But that’s me … how about you?
Thanks for listening to Lee’s Nite Radio.
Bonus Song: Newsboys Guilty
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