A piece of sunshine

Living like a 'fool'

"I lived like a fool." 


It is the title of popular song written by Kim Do-hyang (1945-) in 1980. "One day, listening to falling leaves, I saw my empty heart. I felt the times went by transiently. Have I perhaps lost my life? Would it be too late? I have truly lived like a fool…" 


The well-known nickname of the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009) was "a fool." The simple image of a fool with a hidden smile has become a trend mark of his life. 


He called himself "a fool" after drawing a simple self-portrait at the age of 80s, confessing that "It seems that I have lived like a fool pushing myself forward with some knowledge and wanting to be treated with respect."


Many of us now appreciate the true meaning of living as a fool in the midst of people in need.


In the spirit of his sharing, "Pottery scholarship" was founded in 2002 to give scholarships to seminarians in the hope of preparing a mission to North, and various events are still organized under the name of "Sharing of a fool" to raise funds to help others since 2010.


Jesus himself was a fool, too, in a positive and spiritual sense. He never judged nor criticized others in a negative way. He kept silent and he willingly gave himself out to realize the will of God. He was crucified and endured up to the final moment of death on the cross.


"Lazzaro felice" (Happy as Lazzaro) is an Italian film directed by Alice Rohrwacher who won the 71st Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay in 2018. 


This film is called a modern fable on a happy fool. Living on an estate called "Inviolata" isolated since 1977, Alfonsina de Luna, a tobacco baroness and queen of cigarettes exploits 54 farmhands working on her tobacco farm. Every peasant in this farm is unpaid and in debt.


A pure Lazzaro is one of miserable peasants, and unfortunately, his neighbors also abuse him, asking various things to do. Nevertheless, Lazzaro does whatever people ask him without any resistance. His face reflects his inner goodness filled with compassion and kindness. By nature, he does his best to help others.


Tancredi is the disillusioned marquis against the working principle of his mother. So Tancredi lives in the mountain while pretending himself to be kidnapped. He threatens his mother to hand some ransom, but instead, the police arrives to tell the truth and evacuates Inviolata. In the end, Alfonsina is arrested due to her great swindle.


Lazzaro faithfully tries to support Tancredi who said him to be his half-brother, but Lazzaro falls down from a cliff and awakes many years later. He meets the survivors who are still poor, swindling others in the city. 


One day, he encounters Tancredi who lost his fortune to the bank. Then, Lazzaro visits the bank to ask for the fortune to be returned to Tancredi. However, Lazzaro has a slingshot only, and people beat him until he sees a vision of the wolf running free. 


Lazzaro has been fooled constantly by people around, but every moment he chose to give himself out for the good of his friends. Here lies the mysterious beauty of living like a fool. "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."(John 15:13) 

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