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

brown wooden arrow signed
What it takes
lighted match with smoke on black background
Now you know it’s yours
closeup photography of yellow red green and blue chess piece
If it can’t be helped, don’t help it.

YAMABUSHI BLOG POSTS

anonymous snowboarder standing on snowy mountain peak
Are you able to reassure yourself? Against anxiety
black and white dartboard
You have to do it every day
silhouette photography of jump shot of two persons
Visible and invisible advantages

RANDOM POSTS

Recession proof
The eighth station of Mt. Gassan during the middle of summer.
Realisations you never realised you had
young active skater leaping high in park
Do something
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