6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.
7 A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
The rich man may have many advantages for the time being, but the poor man has the only advantage that matters. His walk is blameless, he has chosen the path of goodness and truth. Where will this path take him? He will have the satisfaction of honest work, the peace of competence, the joy of lasting friendships. He has chosen his path well.
The rich man by contrast, has chosen the way of perversity. This is the path of diminishing returns, demanding more and more as he continues on and delivering less and less. If he stays on this path long enough, it will eventually take everything and give nothing in return. While the path of the blameless leads to satisfaction, the path of perversity leads only to torment. Gradually the rich man loses his ability to enjoy anything, he would trade all his wealth for the chance to go back.
“A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” The discerning son seeks to understand instruction, which enables him to follow it. He knows that “bad company corrupts good character,” so he protects himself from the influence of his foolish peers. The companion of gluttons exposes himself to all kinds of irresponsible behavior. Too much eating and drinking, too much spending and too much entertainment all take their tolls on a person. His father is disgraced because he had hoped for more for his son than to be caught up such trivialities.