Don’t be fooled on any day of the year

Published 12:04 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

Almost every April Fools’ Day, a particular family member will call and say something almost believable.  Despite knowing this may happen, we often fall for the “story” and hear “April Fool!”

One year, I pulled the best April Fools’ joke on my family by telling them that our two cats that typically would sleep on the trampoline during the day were jumping on it when I went outside to feed them.  I laugh just thinking about that pretend imagined picture.

The origin of April Fools’ Day is uncertain, but various sources say it may date back to the 1500’s when a new calendar was adopted.  Prior to that time, a year began on March 25, so festivals celebrating the New Year were held on April 1.  Some think the holiday may have some connection to the Vernal Equinox or first day of spring – a day to spring a joke on someone.  (I couldn’t resist the pun.)

Whatever the origin, it’s an international holiday.  For instance, in France it’s called “April fi sh.”  French children reportedly tape a picture of a fish on the back of a classmate and say “April fish” when the prank is discovered.

Mark Twain once wrote, “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”  That depends on whether you are the one pulling the prank.  I prefer Max Eastman’s philosophy; “It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humor.”

You’ve heard the phrase, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”  I thought it sounded like Benjamin Franklin’s words.  It’s actually from the pen of Thomas Tusser, an English farmer and writer.  Franklin did write, “The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.”

The wisest king who ever lived has written, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).  Another Scripture reads, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
One of my favorite quotes gives each of us a principle to live by.  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  Those are the words of Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed in Ecuador by tribesmen in a remote village where he and other missionary families were sharing the message of Jesus Christ.

His life, like his words, sum up Jesus’ word, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).

A story is told about John Wesley walking along a narrow street one day.  A man coming toward him stepped into the middle of the pavement and said, “I never get out of my way for a fool.” To which Wesley replied, “But I always do,” as John stepped aside into the gutter.  The moral of this story, “Answer a fool according to his folly” (Proverbs 26:5).


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at