"Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger"
The question is what to do with the cynic and the negative types who have never heard a proposal they can't throw cold water on.
scorners set a city aflame
Scorners are those people who get you to focus on your own expectations to an extraordinary degree. They keep you focused on what you had to sacrifice, what you had to give, what you want.
These are people who treat everyone else as though they are second-class citizens.
A city can be a flame in terms of its bitterness towards one another and its lust to have its own needs met. A fool who moves people to more selfishness will eventually destroy the potential of a team effort because there will be too many rights, egos, and expectations. There will be no team – only I.
but wise men turn away anger
The word anger is the word for nostril or flaring of the nostril. The proverb declares that if you can really see relationships between people and events and desires and you hunt for the choice that allows all righteous to profit and win, there will be a way to turn away anger; to turn it off.
Since anger is usually a case of blocked or limited expectations, Solomon must be talking about the ability of wise people to come up with the solution in which everybody wins. If you can show a person that what they are upset about is really going to turn out for their betterment in a powerful way, they will almost immediately stop being angry and instead embrace the new gain.
How does one turn aside anger? By giving perspective or making it worthwhile to let certain things go.