3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
Yet their heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth attracts many friends,
But even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
The simple follow the world’s advice, which leads to disillusionment. The fool takes this one step further. While the simple believes his main problem is the goals he has yet to achieve, the fool sees himself as a victim of society and its rules. If only he could live however he wants, unconstrained by rules and free from social norms, then he could find happiness! Skeptical of any advice, the fool seeks to make his own way in the world. This leaves him with only his desires to guide him. He is like a traveler without a map, wandering around in search of pleasure with nothing to warn him of the dangers he is bound to run into.
Guided only by desire, he has no prudence to see the traps to which he is baited. He lacks the temperance to limit his consumption; he has no regard for justice and takes advantage of others as it suits him. Lacking fortitude, he is committed to nothing and easily discouraged. He may feel liberated for a while, but eventually his regrets catch up with him. The consequences of foolishness affect his health, his finances, his relationships, his career. He is angry, but who is there to blame? It is difficult to repent, to make amends for the damage he’s done. It’s much easier to rage against life itself and the author of it, to see himself as a victim and life as a cruel joke. He is on his way to becoming a mocker, cynical and hopeless.
“Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.” When your life is going well, it is difficult to know who your true friends are. People love to share in the success of others, to benefit from their influence and enjoy their wealth. But when poverty strikes, when reputations are destroyed, when life falls apart, companions are few and far between. Do you want true friendships? Stick with those who suffer, be willing to give more than you receive, always let your friends in and never let them down. Be the kind of friend you are looking for, and you will have someone to turn to in your time of need.