The persuasion of the fortunate sways the doubtful.

George Herbert, “Proverbs” in The complete English Works, 275.

We want to be like those we admire. Their words carry more weight. We believe that if we do what they do, perhaps we will experience what they’ve experienced.

This can be deceiving. Perhaps the fortunate are fortunate not so much because of their wisdom, but because they’ve inherited positions of strength that can withstand adversity with greater resilience. Worse, is the possibility that their gain is ill-gotten.

But these realities shouldn’t make us paranoid or overly skeptical. Many are fortunate in large part because of their wisdom. They understand how life works best, live disciplined lives, and have traits that have allowed them to overcome adversity.

So, we must discern past appearances to character. And always, always keep in mind that the unfortunate often have tremendous wisdom that’s easy to overlook or despise because of their lack of prestige, power, or position.