The Fool Speaks, and the Wise Listen.

The Fool Speaks, and the Wise Listen

The following article, “The Fool Speaks, and the Wise Listen.” is written by Hamail Syed, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

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1- Introduction

2- Debunking the African Proverb: The Fool Speaks, and the Wise Listen

3- Why does a fool speak excessively?

  • Pride in his knowledge
  • Desire for attention and recognition

4- Why does a wise person listen more than speak?

  • Acceptance of possessing less information
  • The concept of a life-long learning process

5- What consequences does a fool incur due to his talkative nature?

  • Loss of respect
  • Rise in evildoings

6- What rewards does an intelligent person reap due to his listening practice?

  • Enhancement of wisdom
  • Increase in respect

7- Critical analysis: Are all talkative people foolish and silent people wise?

  • ✓Counterargument: People who are good at talking display good leadership qualities, and silence shows rudeness and lack of interest if one only listens to someone speaking at length.
  • ✓Refutation: Excess of everything is wrong; therefore, the speaker and the listener should not dominate over the other to reap the fruits of respect and peace.

8- Conclusion

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Answer to the Question


Words are the most potent drugs that humankind wields. They either make one attain high respect or incur embarrassment in society. However, a better listening habit and a lessened speaking tendency help a wise person enhance his wisdom and acquire a high place in the community of nobles. On the other hand, a fool who speaks excessively to dominate conversations and attract people lands nowhere in the family of shrewd people. Owing to his arrogance, the fool loses his respect and gets involved in sins, such as backbiting, lying, etc. Nevertheless, wisdom and honour are bestowed upon those who prefer listening over speaking. A wise person knows that sagacity lies in listening to catch ideas, perspectives, and experiences shared by others. Consequently, wise people talk less, making them earn respect and avoid unnecessary arguments. Thus, the above facts underscore the maxim “The fool speaks, and the wise listen.”

Debunking the African Proverb: The Fool Speaks, and the Wise Listen

The given statement is an African proverb, which indicates that talking recklessly is the work of stupid people who try their best to answer all queries despite insufficient information. This action deprives them of learning and leads to a loss of respect in society. On the other hand, the quotation further elaborates that loving to listen is a quality of intellectuals. Listening adds beauty to one’s personality and allows one to benefit from others’ insights, ideas, and experiences. Thus, the maxim accurately narrates that silence enhances cleverness while garrulousness reveals one’s foolishness.

Why does a fool speak excessively?

After debunking the maxim, it is important to understand the reason behind the excessive speech of a fool.

Pride in his knowledge

First, a fool’s arrogance over knowledge is the foremost cause behind his unwise character. His pride in his knowledge makes him believe that what he knows is sufficient to solve all the world’s mysteries. Therefore, he tries to dominate conversations, interrupt others, and not let others share his viewpoints. The fact can be well illustrated by the quote by Pythagoras, “A fool is known by his speech, and a wise man by silence.” The statement also sheds light on the fool’s overconfidence. Thus, the aforementioned fact supports the argument that the ego of the unwise makes him speak excessively.

The desire for attention and recognition

Second, the desire for attention and recognition is also one of the factors leading a foolish person to speak aimlessly. He believes his talkative behaviour will catch others’ attention and leave a good impression on them. So, he talks haphazardly and doesn’t let anyone contribute their perspectives to the dialogue. The statement can well be supported by a renowned quote from Plato, “The wise speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.” The quote alludes to the idea that those lacking knowledge speak excessively to seek attention. Hence, the fact beautifully supports the argument that a fool becomes chatty to receive recognition.

Why does a wise person listen more than speak?

After throwing light on the causes that make a fool speak a lot, discussing some benefits of speaking less is vital, which a wise person avails of himself.

Acceptance of possessing less information

Furthermore, a clever person always considers his information insufficient to answer the vast extent of human understanding. The acknowledgement urges him not to contribute his inadequate opinion. A wise person understands that speaking without solid information may lead others to misinformation and flawed perspectives. By admitting the limitations, a wise person listens more to acquire knowledge from others. The famous line, “The wise know nothing; only a fool keeps the information about everything,” beautifully supports the argument that a smart person speaks less as he may not share unauthentic information. Hence, a clever guy’s silence becomes a gateway to absorbing wisdom and increasing his treasure of knowledge.

The concept of a life-long learning process

In addition to this, the wise wholeheartedly embrace the concept of a lifelong learning process. He acknowledges that acquiring knowledge is an unending journey beyond a single lifetime. By actively listening and speaking less, a cunning person participates in learning. Moreover, he eagerly absorbs insights, experiences, and wisdom shared by others, making him value the diverse perspectives and knowledge that different individuals bring. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, effective leaders are considered to be apt to listen actively and speak less during group discussions. Moreover, the research has encouraged open dialogue, helping team members to share diverse ideas and insights. Hence, the study underscores the importance of an intellect’s tendency to speak less and listen more.

What consequences does a fool incur due to his talkative nature?

Before highlighting the rewards of speaking less, as reaped by the wise, it is essential to discuss the consequences of speaking excessively.

Loss of respect

To begin with, a babbling tongue makes a man suffer the worst of thorns throughout his life. By robbing and shattering all kinds of reputations, it deprives a person of his respect. Furthermore, speaking often causes a man to make inappropriate comments and monopolize discussions that hurt others’ feelings. The quote from Abraham Lincoln says, “The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.” This supports the argument that the talkative guy loses respect due to his haphazard speech, verifying that a talkative person loses respect in society.

Rise in evildoings

Likewise, a fool gets involved in evil deeds due to his talkative personality. The tendency makes him part of gossiping, backbiting, lying, and shouting. He sometimes even shatters one’s feelings into pieces due to his excessive talk. Also, fluency does not make him realize his mistakes. Besides, the notable line “the more one speaks, the more are his chances to be involved in sins” supports the fact well. It justifies that a stupid person should keep silent rather than talk excessively. Thus, the paragraph underscores the argument that a thoughtless person commits wrongdoings due to excessive speech.

What rewards does an intelligent person reap due to his listening practice? 

After discussing the drawbacks of garrulousness, it is vital to shed some light on the rewards that a wise person earns when he speaks less and listens more.

Enhancement of wisdom

First, keeping silent and paying heed to listening benefits one’s insight to a large extent. It unlocks one’s ideas and teaches the right way to ponder the mysteries of life. The argument can be well supported by the fact that the more one listens, the more one learns, and the greater one understands the world. The statement proceeds with the argument that one boosts one’s wisdom by paying heed to the viewpoints of others. 

Increase in respect

Next, the community of nobles rewards a wise person with highly appreciative behaviour. His listening habit significantly helps him have an attractive and influential personality. Without a shadow of a doubt, one who utters less and listens more often shows humility and respect towards others. Consequently, people, in return, also respectfully behave with him. Undoubtedly, no one can deny that one reaps what one sows. A wise person respects others’ perspectives and gets treated well in return. Thus, the fact is that listening enhances one’s respect in society.

Critical Analysis

In a critical diagnosis, one can deduce that all the talkative people are foolish and the quiet ones are wise. Though people who are good at talking display good leadership qualities, silence shows rudeness and lack of interest if one only listens to someone speaking at length. Both sides must keep a balance in their communication. Excess of everything is bad; therefore, the speaker and the listener should not dominate over the other to reap the fruits of respect and peace.


The maxim “the fool speaks and the wise listen” elaborates on the profound wisdom of valuing silence and attentive listening. It encapsulates that one who has learned the art of listening often remains at peace and enhances wisdom through others’ insights, perspectives, and experiences. Likewise, he garners respect in society as he doesn’t let himself lose his time and energy in arguments. However, the proverb reveals some threatening pitfalls of excessive speech, including loss of respect and involvement in evildoings. Besides, the maxim also puts it in one’s consciousness that the arrogance of a fool leads him to talk haphazardly; however, thirst for knowledge makes a wise person reap the rewards of listening.

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