“There’s a sucker born every minute.” – P. T. BarnumPT_Barnum_by_Eisenmann,_1885
This quote sums up so many things all in one line. In a way, it’s saying people are stupid, without being as mean, but then again, not being terribly nice either. It sums up the world’s way of dealing with people who don’t watch out for themselves. If you don’t take care of yourself, someone else is just going to take advantage of your naivete, so beware. If you think philosophically about it, well, there are a lot of philosophers, theologians, charlatans and a variety of other snake-oil salesmen out there willing to convince you of whatever it is they happen to be peddling. Again, the message is beware. Of course, we know, from the source, that it was merely a sense of the profitability of the truth of the statement that made him say it. I once knew a man who owned a disreputable business. He always made one very specific and clear point about how he made a living: If they wouldn’t buy it, I’d be out of business. He was right. We buy into a lot of things in this world and sometimes, for buying them, we are just what Barnum said we are: suckers.