The proverb ‘A wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it’, means that a wise man is experienced and learned enough to make his own decisions thereby not needing advice from anyone else. He can very well assess the consequences of his action and take appropriate decisions. On the other hand, fools have a false sense of wisdom and won’t accept genuine advice generously. They disregard the person giving advice and think that only they are right.
A well-written example will let you better understand the true meaning of a proverb. I am giving below a couple of examples on the proverb for your information.
“I tried to advise Mohit to increase his study hours but he retorted back saying that he didn’t need advice; true that a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”
“My class teacher always generously accepts any kind of advice, even from his students, but one of my classmates frowns when he is advised on his poor performance. Somebody rightly said that a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”
“There lives a very learned scholar in my neighborhood. He has no one to advise him, yet he has invested his money wisely and gained wealth. It is true that a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”
“The girl living in my neighborhood is very good at studies but his brother isn’t. The girl always accepts any advice with generosity, but his brother neither takes advice nor improves himself. This is a classic example of- a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”
“I told you to prepare a PPT for your presentation but you didn’t listen; now the proposal got rejected. I hope that I had a wise man for the presentation. Haven’t you heard that a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”
The origin of the proverb ‘A wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it’ is credited to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was one of the founding fathers of the United States.
Thorugh the proverb, Franklin was trying to convey that there is no need to advise a wise man as he is already well learned and experienced; though he will patiently listen to your advice. A fool, however, will not take advice because he would think that he is wiser and superior.
The proverb is in wide use in different languages throughout the globe.
Expansion of the Proverb
The proverb tries to convey that if you try to advise a wise man, he would patiently listen to your advice and will be glad to accept it, if it is worthy, though; it is a different matter that he is wise enough to make his own decisions.
A wise man has no ego and always listens to others. On the other hand, a fool always thinks that he only is right and all others are fools. It is therefore advised not to advise a fool. Fools are engulfed in a false sense of wisdom, thinking that they are the wisest. Because of this reason they never accept any advice given and always have their own way. They also have an ego that impedes their vision and prevents them from taking the advice seriously.
The proverb ‘a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it’ is a very important life lesson that tells us about the basic characteristic of wise and foolish men. It warns us about their behaviors and that too at an appropriate time. It helps to know what kind of person you are dealing with – a fool or a wise person. The person, who generously accepts your advice is wise while the one who doesn’t even listen to it is a fool.
The proverb also teaches us that if we think ourselves as wise, then we must be open for advice thrown at us. An important characteristic of a wise man that he listens to the advice; assesses whether it is feasible or not and then implements accordingly. So, if we want to be wiser we must work in the same way; otherwise, we would be declared fools.
Short Stories on ‘A Wise Man doesn’t Need Advice and a Fool won’t Take it’
A well-written story is the best way to understand the morale behind a proverb. I am giving below a couple of stories based on the theme ‘a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it’ for you to better understand the meaning of the proverb.
Short Story 1
Once, there lived two farmer friends in a village in China. One of them named Xi Chin was a very learned man who had read several religious texts and books. His friend Zi Chan was very stubborn with a false sense of wisdom. He thinks of others as fools and himself as the wisest of them all. Despite this, their friendship was good because Xi Chin was really a nice person.
Once the two friends decided to do business together, but, just after few months, the plan failed because Zi Chan wouldn’t listen to any advice given by his friend and partner Xi Chin. They both broke the partnership and continued to run business separately.
After a year Xi Chin’s business started growing at a faster pace while Zi Chan lost all his investment in an impractical business idea. One of the main reasons for Xi Chin’s success had been that he was open for advice from anyone who would be happy to give it.
Xi Chin felt bad about his friend’s loss and tried to inquire through a common friend. The common friend told that ‘Zi Chan was adamant about his own business idea since the beginning. When he was advised by his friends and relatives, he just brushed it off, thinking that his idea is the best. Perhaps, it is true that a wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.’
Short Story 2
Once upon a time, there were two kingdoms in southern India. Krishnadevaraya was a king of one of the kingdoms named Vijayanagara. He had a team of wise courtiers as advisers, who would advise him on several issues related to governance.
The other kingdom was ruled by a highly egoistic ruler, Mahasimha, who had a well-armed army but no advisers. He thought of himself as the wisest and taking advice as an insult.
One fine day, Mahasimha gathered his army and declared war against Vijayanagara. He thought that the kingdom wouldn’t stand a chance against his army. But he was wrong.
Krishnadevaraya got the information about the attack and yet he was confident. When one of the courtiers asked him as to what makes him so calm despite knowing that Mahasimha’s army is greater in number than theirs? The king replied that he has full confidence in his wise advisers.
That is what happened – Krishnadevaraya advised by his efficient courtiers charted out an unbreakable war plan and easily defeated the colossal army of Mahasimha. Mahasimha was captured and put in prison. During the trial, he said that he would like to know the secret behind Krishnadevaraya’s victory despite having an army that is less in number. Krishnadevaraya pointed to his courtiers and said “A wise man doesn’t need advice and a fool won’t take it.”