Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Think Twice

Blue Eyes posted a wonderful quote by Douglas Bader a few days ago:
Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools
DB has always been a hero of mine, but I had not heard that quote before. I like it, and I was planning to try and observe it a little more closely. Then, though, I realised that it was uttered by a man who decided not to obey a rule and who, as a direct result, lost two legs in a flying accident.

So maybe the quote itself needs to be classed as a rule?

9 comments:

  1. Well, you'd be a fool to ignore the guidance just because you aren't a fool.

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  2. Most people I know consider themselves to be wise men. Few consider themselves to be fools.

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  3. Patently, I've heard my father say it. Don't know if you'll think that's a recommendation.

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  4. Very witty, P.

    First you were going to follow it (a fool) and then you reconsidered in the light of the consequences (possibly a wise man).

    @Albert, my father use to say rules are there for a reason, but he also said 'I'll remember that' and he never did. It took me longer than it should have to realise that, so good tactics.

    We all uphold the Rule of Law so why are we celebrating Bader breaking the rules? Indefatigable comes to my mind.

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  5. @Measured, are you equating rules and laws on the basis that we try to attain the rule of law? Or are you hoping that one day we will live under the Rule of Lawyers?

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  6. Well, Blue, rules and laws should not be enforceable only through lawyers. Closed shops are outdated. Legal on-line resources must not be stifled to enable lawyers to charge exorbitant fees under the guise of maintaining standards. Sorry, P.

    Back to Bader, he was in the right place at the right time to be hailed a hero. I think he probably had faults such as being self-centred and arrogant, but who is going to knock him for that? He was undoubtedly determined and brave who paid a heavy price for his heroism. As he stated, a wise man always weighs up the costs as HMRC are about to find out. ;-)

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  7. Back to the question,

    So maybe the quote itself needs to be classed as a rule?

    Nobody likes to be called a fool, albeit the fools need it. Anarchy may break out as they would take it literally.

    However, it should be a tad stronger than a recommendation, @Albert, yet it can't be a rule without being contradictory. Dilemma. A Holy Order? :-)

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  8. Measured, would it be contradictory if fools obey it as a rule, or just evidence that they are fools?

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  9. You shall have to find me a fool and we shall see. Not everyone who obeys a rule is a fool. Far from it; pros/cons, risk/reward, swings/roundabout, experience/inexperience, wise man/fool.*

    *I decided this was a better answer than suggesting some beliefs are self-evident or entering into a discussion about tautology. See, I'm learning. :-D

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