While growing up on the farm, my dad would regularly remind me to be cautious in approaching any animal that has young. Whether the mom was a cow, a dog, a pig, a raccoon, a sheep, or almost any other animal - they could be unpredictable when caring for their babies. These mama's, in protecting their young, could cause you significant harm. Today in Proverbs 17:12, the writer writes, "Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly." (Proverbs 17:12-13)
Meeting a mama bear robbed of her cubs is not a pleasant experience! Few people ever speak of this sort of experience because ... they rarely live to tell about it! A 'fool in his folly' can have the same kind of impact on circumstances and relationships ... destructive. Fools are unwise, unrighteousness, unreliable, unteachable, and more.
Those most needing to clearly discern who is and is not a fool are those looking for a mate, employers and church leaders. Being linked to a fool in any capacity is dangerous! The appropriate approach to a fool is either avoidance, distance or to become one yourself. Only two of the previous options are wise. (And while we are often willing to endure a fool, it's curious that people actually try to protect themselves from bear attacks by posting warning signs, arming themselves and using powerful pepper spray!)