Essay No. 206:
Better Weep With The Wise Than Laugh With The Fool: Weeping and laughing are two alternating conditions in life. When man is in the thick of grief, he sheds tears over the loss that he sustains. Loos may be irreparable. Man thus weeps silently. But if he weeps in the presence of a wise person, he may be able to console him to lessen the magnitude of grief.
He may in a most psychological manner pacify him to reduce the intensity of grief. Thus it pays an individual to keep company with the wise who may even refine his way of weeping. He is going to pick up gems of wisdom while remaining in the company of the sags, the wise. The wise sheds wisdom form his every action.
Hence one should choose the company of the wise to learn something about the practicalities of life. The wise is capable of softening down the oddities of one’s behavior through wise gestures. If one is to laugh, one should better laugh not in the company of the fool. A fool does not understand the practical implications of the ups and downs of life.
He can laugh when there is least justification for laughing. Hence if one begins to laugh in the company of the fool, others would take one for a fool. A fool’s behavior on different occasions can be devoid of wisdom and sagacity. He fails to take into consideration the subtle nature of certain situations and maintains an erratic behavior.
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So if one remains in the company of the fool, one would be dubbed as a fool, gestures of laughing and weeping bordering tomfoolery. A fool can laugh to his heart’s content without realizing the gravity of a given situation. One should better avoid sharing the company of a fool, who once beings to laugh, goes on laughing uninterruptedly. A fool is shorn of practical wisdom.
The quotation signifies the sharing of woes of life with the wise instead of courting the company of a fool. On can learn something from the company of the wise. It can enrich one’s experience by being in contact with the wise, to face the practicalities of life in an intelligent manner. The wise scatter pearls of wisdom through their talk and behavior and one learns a lot how to face odd situations in life. The company of a fool needs to be shunned, as it does not yield rich dividend.
It may however, be pointed out that the fool in Shakespeare’s plays, is the wisest. He diffuses wisdom through his talk. In the ordinary course of life, a fool is a symbol of foolishness, stupidity. That type of fool is not to be appreciated. If you laugh in his company, it would discredit you, as it amounts to living in a fool’s paradise.