Everyone wants to be wise. Not only are fools shunned and humilated, but their actions bring trouble and pain. My band director used to say, "Dumb people must suffer". His context was people who mouthed off and therefore got punished, but the statement is true in many aspects of life.
Yes, everyone wants to be wise, but how does one become wise? The wisest man, Solomon, gives us the answer in Prov. 13:20, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed." Should this advice surprise us? We all understand Paul's point when he writes, "evil companions corrupt good morals"--our friends will rub off on us, whether for good or for evil. Isn't that what Solomon is saying? So, if you really want to be wise, you must associate with those who are wise and learn from them. There are several applications of this that I want us to think about.
First of all, this principle makes our choice of friends incredibly important. I'm not talking necessarily your neighbors, or the people you work with, or the other parents of the kids on your son's ball team. While you have a relationship with them, they may or may not be your close friends--we're talking about your best buddy, or your best girlfriend, those you're really close to--your compadre or comadre. If they are wise people, that wisdom will rub off on you too. If they are wise enough to realize that the things of this world are only temporary they will encourage you in that same wisdom. If they are greedy for things, they will point you in the same direction. Your choice of close friends is so very important!
This is also something a young man should consider when he looks for a wife. Does he want a young lady whose only "advantage" is her outward beauty? Not if he wants to be wise! What other person should you be closer to than your spouse? If your spouse is wise it will benefit you in many ways, not the least of which is that it will help you grow in wisdom. The virtuous wife of Prov. 31 is commended for her wisdom more than anything else and where is her husband? At the city gates, with the rest of the wise men. Some young men are intimidated by a wise young lady, so they choose a wife that is not as wise as they are. It is hard for most young men to admit there wife is right (I know that first hand) and is wiser than they are. But her wisdom will not only save them from many problems but will help him to become wiser himself. Most of us need to be pushed to reach our full potential--seek a wife who will help you excel, not one who will drag you (and likely your children as well) down.
The last application is one I heard years ago that is so obvious once you see it, but difficult to see on your own. Another proverb says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him. Children can be so foolish at times. Someone was telling of two 10 year old boys who were playing with the pixie sticks. For those of you not old enough to remember these, they were like sweet tarts powder in a straw. Anyway, one of the boys suggested they could "snort" the pixie sticks, like people snort cocaine. He then pretended to do it, at which the other boy took a good snort of it--his nose and sinuses were burned so bad he had to go to the doctor. Children can be foolish.
Now, what do you have when you get a bunch of children together? In any group of kids you have smart kids, dumb kids, kids who have no moral training, etc. In such a group, which behavior do kids typically adopt? They don't usually rise to the level of the wiser ones, but rather fall to the level of the more foolish. If a child, even a wise child who has been trained in God's Word and truth, spends most of his time in the company of other children will he be influenced for good or for evil? To ask the question is to answer it. Yet how many parents, even strong Christians, allow their children to spend so much time with other children that their foolishness MUST rub off on them? When YOU, the parent, are your children's peers, your influence over them is incredibly strong. When what the other kids think of them is more important than what you think, you are fighting an uphill battle that more than likely you will lose. Is it important for kids to play and be with other children? No question! But if parents spend little or no time with their kids it should not be surprising that their children don't adopt their parents morals. If you want your kids to be wise, you need to help/make them associate with the wise--grandparents, other older people and adults.
Do you want to be wise? You can be--make friends of those who are wise themselves and you are well on your way.