Using Common Sense
1 Do not challenge a person who has influence; you may fall into his power. 2 Do not quarrel with someone rich; he may bribe people to turn against you. Gold has destroyed many people and corrupted kings. 3 Don't argue with someone who talks too much; you will just be adding fuel to his fire. 4 Don't make fun of someone who has bad manners; he may insult your ancestors. 5 Don't criticize someone if he is already turning away from sin. Remember that we are all guilty. 6 Never think less of someone because he is old; some of us are growing old, too. 7 Don't be happy over the death of anyone; remember that all of us must die.
8 Do not disregard what the wise have said. Study their proverbs; from them you can learn to be cultured and to serve great people. 9 Pay attention to what old people say, for they learned from those who came before them. You can learn from them, and they can teach you how to have an answer ready when you need one.
10 You should not provide a sinner with more opportunity to sin. You might get hurt yourself; it's as easy as getting burned while adding logs to a fire. 11 You should not get up and walk out on someone who is insolent. He might twist your words and use them against you. 12 You should not lend anything to someone more powerful than you. If you do, you might as well consider it lost. 13 You should not guarantee anyone else's loan to an extent that you cannot afford. You must be prepared to pay any such guarantee. 14 You should not bring a lawsuit against a judge. He will win because of his position. 15 You should not travel with anyone who is reckless. It will cause you nothing but trouble. He will do any foolish thing he pleases, and you will die with him.
16 You should not get into an argument with anyone who has a hot temper or go to some place where the two of you will be alone. Violence means nothing to such a person, and he will attack you when there is no one to help you. 17 You should not ask a stupid person for advice. He will not be able to keep secret what you tell him. 18 You should not do anything in front of a stranger that should be kept secret. There is no way of knowing what will happen if you do. 19 You should not reveal your most private thoughts to anyone. If you do, you may as well throw away any chance of happiness.