“Suffer fools gladly, seeing you are wise” (oft quoted out of context from II Corinthians 11:19) meets “No fools, no fun” (official motto of the Hertford, NC Chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens). Shakespeare elevated fools oft making them the only wise speakers in his plays. Paul, earlier in the same chapter of Corinthians, claims to be a fool himself causing most serious readers of the verse to see it as sarcastic in tone really meaning “You are so smart, but you need to listen to me, a fool. So listen up.”
Bill Harmon posed the philosophical question in this way: “Paul says to suffer fools gladly, but he doesn’t say for how long.” Since hearing him, I’ve wondered about the time limit if there is one.
I am beginning to think the type of fool is the determinate. Fools such as those in Shakespeare or in the Hertford Chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens (whom I hope to meet some day) likely get a long period of suffering since they are gladdening and only cause suffering amongst the unwise.
My favorite fool is Nasrudin Hoja.