28 A large population is a king’s glory,
but without subjects a prince is ruined.
29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
The tyrant seeks glory in domination, and the warlord in conquest; but the wise king glories in the fruitfulness of his subjects. This applies to every level of leadership. The best way to glory is through humility. A wise leader leverages his influence for the good of others, and not for his own benefit. He need not demand respect, as that is the natural response to such leadership – he need not conquer the world, because he has conquered himself.
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Here are two self-perpetuating cycles. Patience enables understanding, which develops more patience, and so on. One needs only enough understanding to be patient, or enough patience to gain understanding, to advance in maturity. But impulsiveness empowers folly, which triggers more impulsiveness, spiraling downward until the consequences become too great to bear.