8 A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.
The prudent person factors future outcomes into present decisions. He is always thinking ahead, carefully choosing the steps that will take him where he wants to go. This not only protects him from regret, it also earns him the praise of others. If you develop a track record of prudence, praise will be a byproduct of your success.
The one with a “warped mind,” however, thinks only in the short term. He doesn’t anticipate risks, and makes no preparation for the inevitable. His efforts to seek praise directly through boasting and exaggeration accomplish the opposite of their intent, others see through them and despise him all the more.
“Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.” The one who lives beyond his means is another example of a person hoping to impress others. This forces him to focus on the short term – where his next meal will come from – burdening him with the anxiety of scarcity. What good is a new car if you can’t afford to put gas in it? It is better to live within your means, being grateful for what you have, than to sacrifice your peace trying to impress others.