How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord! Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honors.
Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers. Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them. If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!”— Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing— they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are.
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