I absolutely love the TV show Scrubs. And one of my favorite ongoing schticks in the show is the never-ending battle between Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso. If you're a fan, you know exactly what I mean. If not, here's a quick recap:
Dr. Kelso is the Chief of Medicine at Sacred Heart hospital. He's by the book, and wants the bottom line to favor him and the hospital. Crass, blunt, and eternally self-focused, Dr. Kelso sees Sacred Heart as his own little kingdom.
Dr. Cox, on the other hand, lives to pester Dr. Kelso, the residents under his care, his ex-wife, and just about anyone else he comes in contact with. But under that confrontational surface of his, Dr. Cox sees being a doctor as a literal battle for life, and he fights it with a passion.
But when Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox get in the same room with each other, the give and take is nothing short of hilarious. Click here and see for yourself.
The scene I've linked to highlights the kind of no-win dialogue Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox often have with each other: Kelso says one thing, Cox says another. Cox makes a decision, Kelso trumps it. The scene also highlights a confusing set of two verses in the book of Proverbs. I've always wondered about these two verses: "Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation" (Proverbs 26:4-5, New Living Translation).
"Don't answer fools..." "Be sure to answer fools..." Which bit of advice should I follow???
Only after reading some commentary on this text did I realize that these verses are actually painting a picture of how hard it is to deal with fools. Don't answer them, or you'll be as foolish as they are. On the other hand, you should be sure to answer them, or they'll think they got the best of you, even though they're fools.
Brings to mind the old "between a rock and a hard place" dilemma, doesn't it? "Don't answer": Rock. "Answer": Hard Place. "Answer": Rock. "Don't answer": Hard Place. So what do we do?
I honestly believe that the best policy with people who are truly foolish - those who simply will not listen to any thoughts, reasoning, or opinions other than their own - is to just steer clear. You're not going to win, so don't enter the fray.
I guess you could say that the best way out of being between a rock and a hard place is simply to climb the rock and get on your way.