15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
Openness to instruction Is an essential part of wisdom. It can be uncomfortable to question your assumptions, but it is painful to have them proven wrong by experience. But this is what fools do, by avoiding discomfort they ensure their own misery. The fool may listen to advice, but if it supports his conclusions. He may call himself a skeptic, but he never doubts himself. He listens to those who agree with him and ignores everyone else. But the wise don’t make important decisions until after they’ve considered both sides of the issue, and tested their ideas through discussion and debate.
“Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” Fools are not only presumptuous, they are also impulsive. They don’t seek advice, and they can’t take criticism. But the wise are prudent, making the most of every opportunity. An insult may present some truth worth considering, even if it is wrapped in condescension. Have you been criticized or insulted? Perhaps you’ve been misunderstood, and now you have the opportunity to clear things up. There are many good reasons to overlook an insult, but showing annoyance never helps anything.