If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it. Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God. It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.
If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise to thyself, and to thy neighbours. Forsooth if thou art a scorner, thou alone shalt bear evil. (If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise, or gain advantage, for thyself, and for thy friends as well. But if thou art a mocker, thou alone shalt bear the evil.)
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