One day, Emperor Akbar addressed his courtiers and said, “Please tell me the characteristics of good & intelligent people and also that of fools.” As usual, none could answer his questions. Though some had answers with them they feared that the emperor would not like their answers and hence fell silent.
     After a while Birbal rose from his seat and said, “My Lord! I would like to explain the characteristics of good and the intelligent people in the way I have learnt and heard. Please permit me. When Emperor Akbar asked him to proceed, Birbal said, “My Lord! One who thinks twice before talking, who talks calculatedly, who has presence of mind combined with wisdom, one, who respects elders and their words and who has patience can be termed as obedient, good and intelligent.”
     “In the same manner, one who talks without thinking, who has traits of jealousy, selfishness, cowardice, and disrespect for elders can be termed as a fool.” Concluded Birbal.
      Bowled over by Birbal’s intelligence and wit, Akbar praised Birbal and felicitated him appropriately.

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