It's interesting (at least to me) to see how different cultures have different perspectives. That's true around the world today, but is particularly true when you throw in history and look back over not just the centuries, but the millennia. Prov. 18:1 jumps right out at us and confronts us with a verse that is not immediately applicable to our times, and so it forces us to consider the context. Today's verses consider what it means to put oneself above all others.
The one who lives alone is self-indulgent, showing contempt for all who have sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion. When wickedness comes, contempt comes also; and with dishonor comes disgrace. The words of the mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream. (Prov. 18:1-4)
In Solomon's day, people simply didn't live alone, and for very practical reasons: they couldn't afford to. It wasn't only a matter of finances and of food, it was also a matter of safety. Families lived together is small homes because it was all they could afford - together they shared their resources to buy or gather what was needed on a daily basis. Even those considered "unclean" and "outcast" banded together with others like themselves and formed a household. If a person did live on their own that meant they had the capability to afford these resources on their own and that they didn't care enough to share those resources with others. The priority of self carries over into the following verses about expressing one's personal opinion over attempting to understand others and dealing with contempt and dishonor.
Meditation: That brings us to v. 4, the last verse. "The words of the mouth are deep waters...." What do you think that verse means? One thought to consider: where do the words of the mouth come from? Generally, the heart. What is deep in the heart tends to come out of the mouth. But how else might words run deep? And why is wisdom a gushing stream?