“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace” Proverbs 17:28
Casey Stengel was a longtime major league baseball manager whose unique way with the English language became known as “Stengelese.” He once said, “I’ve always heard that it couldn’t be done, but sometimes it don’t always work.” That’s typical Stengelese.
Casey held a position on the board of directors for a California bank. According to a story that originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Casey described his duties this way: “There ain’t nuthin’ to it. You go into the fancy meeting room and you just sit there and never open your yap. As long as you don’t say nuthin’ they don’t know whether you’re smart or dumb.”
What Casey said about his boardroom behavior is reminiscent of Proverbs 17:28. If a fool keeps his mouth shut, he doesn’t reveal his ignorance, and he’s even considered wise. That’s not the whole story, of course. He may still have a heart full of foolishness. But why advertise it if you don’t have to? That’s smart!
Smarter still is the person who is slow to speak so that he can listen and learn to become wise. As Proverbs 18:15 states, “The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
Many seek and strive for wisdom
But find folly in disguise;
All too few seek first God’s wisdom
Only this can make one wise. —Anonymous
It’s better to be quiet and appear a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.