Observant people long ago noted that foolish laughter resembles drunkenness. Now, drunkenness leads to
misbehavior; a conversation with a soak gives one a headache. Anyone who constantly indulges in senseless
merriment ignores his conscience, neglects his affairs and commits unforgivable blunders, for which he can expect
to be punished, if not in this world, then in the next.
He who is inclined to meditation is always prudent and reasonable in his actions in this world and in the face of death. Prudence in thought and deed is the keystone of well-being. But does this mean that we should always be downcast? Should our souls know only melancholy, no joy and mirth? Not at all. I am not saying that we should be sorrowful without cause, but that we should stop and think about our heedless, carefree ways and repent, forsaking them for some useful occupation. It is not senseless merriment that heals the soul, but beneficial and rational work.
Only the weak in spirit will withdraw into themselves, abandon themselves to bitter thoughts, without finding the least consolation.
If you laugh at the stupidities of a fool, do so not rejoicing in his foolishness, but with a feeling of righteous anger. Such laughter should not be indulged in too often, for it is bitter.
When you see someone who leads a good life, whose kind deeds are worthy of emulation, laugh with a glad heart, with sincere joy. A good example teaches humility and restraint, keeping one from wrong-doing and drunkenness. Not all laughter deserves approbation. There is also a kind of laughter that does not come from the heart, that God- given vessel, but bursts out in hollow peals just for the sake of forced jollity.
Man comes crying into this world and departs it in sorrow. Between these two events, without fully comprehending the value and uniqueness of the life bestowed upon him, he will burn it up thoughtlessly, squander it in petty quarrels and miserable wrangles, and never know true happiness. He will pause to think only when the sands of life are running out. Only then will he realize that no treasure on earth can prolong his life even for a single day.
To live by lies, deceit and begging is the lot of good-for-nothing rogues. Put your faith in the Lord, and trust in your own powers and abilities. Even the hardest earth will yield good crops to honest and selfless toil.