Sometimes it is called 20-20 hindsight. Looking back on a situation we often can see clearly what we should have done. We regret the wrong words that caused confusion,the angry words that damaged a precious friendship, the business decision that wasted a small fortune and made people lose their jobs, the one dumb play call that lost the championship. We have all seen it and done it: looking foolish is no fun. But it can be very valuable.
When we do not see our folly, when our blunders are not apparent to us, we do not learn and improve. The law protects the decisions of a person who acts like “a reasonable person.” The law does not protect us when we take uninformed foolish actions.
A fool returns to his folly, repeating the same kinds of blunders in various areas of life. A wise person listens to the counsel of wise friends, and with a humble heart acknowledges the folly and changes. A healthy community—whether it is a for-profit business, a nonprofit, a church or a nation—demonstrates the habit of humility that is the necessary precursor of learning. Pride goes before a fall because pride protects the fool from looking foolish.
A great Christ-centered university demonstrates the humility that allows all its members to speak the truth in love and be safe enough to admit mistakes and learn: trustees, faculty, staff, administrators and students all need this freedom and safety, even if it makes us look foolish at times for things we should have decided or done differently. Looking foolish is no fun, but the only alternative is to remain a fool. And a ship of fools may all feel good together, but their voyage will not end well. So Fresno Pacific University must continue to cultivate a culture of candor, with the transparency and the humility that allows us to learn and grow together.