The Holy Fool

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell introduced me to the concept of the holy fool. It's a Russian concept whereby someone without a care of their social status, such as an outcast, calls out a societal wrong. One example given was the famous Hans Christian Andersen story where the little boy calls out the emperor's new suit, he has nothing to lose by doing so, but the emperor does.

Sometimes I find myself in the position of the Holy Fool, unafraid to call out something for what it is. This comes about a lot here in Japan I feel, obviously with my default position as an outsider, but also as someone able to call people out (I.e I can, and do, speak Japanese).

One example was a course on harassment we had at work a few months ago. The speaker talked about not being too specific when talking about actual stories, then goes ahead and gives examples where the age and gender of university staff was released. I called him out on it, and he's probably going to change his presentation, otherwise it's a bit hypocritical.

Anyway, this explanation of the Holy Fool gave me more incentive to call things out when I see them. I actually feel it's my obligation as the only person able to too.

ENJOYED THIS? HAVE MORE.

MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

Subscribe to my yamabushi newsletter

RECENT BLOG POSTS

curious little boy playing with brick
The field is your friend
gray monk statue in between plant pots
You can’t worry about that
charming child sweeping concrete pavement with broomstick
Do what needs to be done first

YAMABUSHI BLOG POSTS

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi looks out over Mt. Chokai from Mt. Gassan
No one can master nature
Countries and communities
The Ikiguys Podcast

RANDOM POSTS

photo of peeled banana on yellow plate and background
The MONSTROSITY that is Tokyo Banana
yellow and red abstract painting
Throw it against the wall.
student with documents and laptop happy about getting into university
The Missing Ingredient in Your Language Learning
Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Scroll to Top
%d