Live and Learn from fools and from Sage’s


I have always found the saying, live and learn from Fools and from Sages profound. I first heard it in the lyrics of one of my favourite songs “ Dream On“ by Steven Tyler.
A Sage means a profoundly wise, knowledgeable and good person especially as the result of a lot of experience. Foolish people are silly or senseless, unwise or irrational. Another analogy could be when you are young, you may think that you know it all and that you are invincible (the fool) but as you get older and experience life you learn wisdom ( the sage.) According to Winston Churchill one of the greatest lessons in life is to know that even fools are sometimes right.

Life is like a game of chess, to win you have to make a move , knowing which move to make comes with insight and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way. We become each and every piece within a game called life – Jennifer A Nielson.

But then my question ? What is life truly about ? All the Fools and all the Sages cannot give you a clear answer. A very wise Sage Albert Schweitzer religious philosopher, musicologist, medical missionary and physician quoted “ The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others, until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man himself will not find peace.”

Through my own cancer journey I have certainly gained a lot of knowledge and experience but facing mortality certainly makes you question life and what it is all about. My own Cancer journey has given me positivity, purpose and resilience.

Becoming a Oncology Patient Navigator has certainly given me a profound sense of purpose to be able to make a difference to help other patient’s and their families overcome the many barriers faced on this very daunting journey and as a survivor myself I can connect on a very deep level. “But,” I have to admit it certainly has not been easy emotionally and psychologically.

In the past few months a few of my patients that I have navigated have passed away. A very special lady one of my Doctors who was not only my Doctor but a Sage to me, she so kindly took me under her wing and taught me so much about breast cancer survivorship during my navigation training.

She sadly passed away very unexpectedly and suddenly so very, very sad. The question why? Many of my patient’s and fellow Filotimo Cancer project champions are undergoing the harsh cancer treatments and some are fighting metastatic cancer. I often feel guilty because I am so healthy yet afraid because I have learnt so much and know what could happen. There is so much sadness out there and when I am down and sad I draw comfort from the fact that you can only do as much as you can to make a difference, to help others find positivity, purpose and resilience on this crazy journey.

A very comforting and profound quote.
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the World’s grief, do justly now, have mercy now, walk humbly now, you are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
The Talmud.

Live, love and embrace life, go on holiday often, spend time in nature, eat well but make healthy choices, exercise, exercise is medicine without the side – effects. Life is fragile and precious you never know what is around the corner. Live and Learn from fools and from Sage’s.

In memory of a very special lady and Doctor, Inge Kriel – you were so loved and respected and will be sorely missed.

Nicole Fuller
Author: Nicole Fuller

I am a former elite/springbok distance runner, Oncology Patient Navigator, Breast Cancer Exercise training specialist, speaker and Breast Cancer Survivor