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Seeking Wisdom, Day 13 -Prudence or Poverty

February 17, 2016

Prudence is the exercise of wisdom, sound judgment, and thoughtful care. Being prudent keeps us from poverty. It requires work.

My aunt admired her husband’s sister, Prudence, and maintained a happy relationship with her even long after her husband died, leaving her a young widow with a small boy and limited money. My aunt, a lover of Shelley, Keats, and Byron, and the novels of Tennyson, was a romanticist with her head in the clouds and her eyes on the birds. I’m not sure she would have prospered without Prudence, a woman who exercised sound judgments, practicality, and economy. Prudence had learned to practice the small economies needed to survive with a limited income, sharing those lessons with my aunt, now in similar circumstances. Aunt soon learned to can fruit, tomatoes and blueberries, raise chickens, sew, and do the hundreds of jobs needed in an old house, without descending into poverty after World War ll. I remember watching in horror as aunt captured a ¬†chicken, and decapitated it, stewing it for the evening meal.

A prudent person survives life’s many exigencies. She understands where she is going, and carefully considers the steps needed to get there. My aunt did what Solomon requested, that is “Walk with the wise and become wise. When you associate with fools you will get into trouble.”(Proverbs 13: 20) Walking with her sister-in-law and heeding her practical advice probably kept my aunt from poverty.

Aunt’s story ends like the romantic novels she loved. She met a handsome widower who loved birds. They married, and together they established a bird sanctuary in their small New Jersey town. Anything is possible for the prudent.

(Proverbs 13:4) Lazy people want much, but gain little. but those who work hard will prosper.

 

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