“Two fools quarreling,” Ensign, June 1971, 111
Thomas Fuller said something in a short and meaningful sentence that pertains to loved ones, families, friends, and to all relationships of life: “The world is too narrow for two fools aquarreling.”1 There isn’t any place in all this wide world where one would be comfortable with quarreling. There isn’t any happiness of any kind that wouldn’t be blighted by quarreling. There isn’t any place wide enough, anywhere, that wouldn’t seem cramped by quarreling. Life has enough problems of other kinds, for all of us, without adding quarreling and contention. But it happens. It happens at home; it happens at work; it happens in public and private places: people quarreling, criticizing, accusing; cutting deep wounds, saying things they shouldn’t say—things they often do not know—breaking hearts, solving nothing, hurting themselves. Quarreling hurts especially with family and friends. It hurts when children are helplessly caught in a crossfire between two quarreling, contending parents—or, to use another figure, between the snipping blades of a pair of scissors. Children are so often the victims of what adults shouldn’t do. There is also the public kind of quarreling, where the contenders seem determined to cut each other down. Of course there are mistakes, facts to be faced—performance that isn’t good enough, grievances that cannot altogether be brushed aside. But there are unkind and kinder ways of correction. And since there is no perfection in any of us, we have no right to expect it of others. Hearts can be broken, lives blighted, homes made unhappy, and friends and families pulled apart by quarreling and by frequent magnifying of faults. There is no peace, no pleasant place, no home, no heart that can’t be hurt by quarreling and contention. This world needs kindness, compassion, understanding. It is too cramped for two fools quarreling.