About Alison

A feisty mother earth type, who has an opinion about everything I would like to think I use my "chopsy" attitude to throw some light and perhaps a new slant on current social and cultural issues.

Since I moved to the country for a quiet life I have been lucky enough to create a more healthy more relaxed environment for myself. I love country life, Family, Friends, Horses and Dogs. I also love, photography, writing/chatting and connecting with others.

Please have a look at a collection of my photos blog,


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which follows my efforts to learn to ride and care for horses in my 50s! or just follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back (if you are a real person) on @alisonbarton1. Enjoy and talk to me.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Would you suffer a fool gladly?

The phrase “he doesn’t suffer fools gladly” takes me back to the days when I worked for a living, I am now retired. It was banded around like some badge of honour in the testosterone fuelled environment that I inhabited then.

Got a new boss coming to join us, if you asked what they were like you’d get this response, like watch out if you’re a fool! Tough super slick guy on the way and I would cringe. It encouraged a culture of intolerance where  compassion was a sign of weakness and there was no place for it.

You can’t help but get sucked into that way of being, you’re either the fool or the one who doesn’t suffer them.

Retiring is good, you get out, away from the crazy performance related egotistical ladder climbers and you are left facing yourself. Sometimes, and it’s pretty accurate in my case, you don’t like what you see. It’s been four years or so now and I wouldn’t say I am changed, I would say I have regained myself.

I get comfort from the Buddhist  doctrine, the most important aspect is “do no harm ”it is also the most basic principle and further steps progress to “taking responsibility for helping others” a proactive endeavour which takes commitment and energy. So where would this toe curling phrase, first written by St Paul and forever taken out of context, sit with a Buddhist way of life?

Firstly the way I understand Saint Paul and I’m not sure here, but I think it was written as a criticism of a group of people who considered themselves better than others (the fools) and therefore put themselves above them considering themselves wise. At times the phrase is used to describe a short tempered grumpy type, but still some sort of backhanded insult/complement. The inference being again they were superior.

Buddhism acknowledges that being good is not entirely altruistic and it can be done for selfish reasons. Because being the good guy feels nice and a lot of kudos can be gained by it. It matters not if good is done. So showing tolerance and patients to someone who is difficult to communicate with or live with is a win, win situation. There are a number of possible outcomes, you may realise they have something important to share with you that you gain from. You take time and figure out that the person can be helped, you get information that you need to help yourself or others. You have an opportunity to influence someone who is doing or thinking about doing something detrimental to themselves or others. The list goes on. The plus side is you did something good and you can feel good about that.

So what about thinking about it like this. Gladly take time to listen to others or suffer like a fool.

Alison x

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Hi I am really interested in your comments so let me know what you think and I will get back to you if you want me to. Thanks for reading
Alison xx