Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun. Seeing the evils of the world is definitely not easy. When some see what cannot be changed, they wish they could “un-see” it. The writer sees the world in all of its truth, full of victims without comfort, and tyrants who have no rescuers to their victims. He thinks that the lucky are dead, but that those who never saw daylight are ever luckier because their eyes haven’t seen the world’s corruption.
I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind. The work done that is motivated by envy is useless. Nothing good ever comes from that sort of dog-eat-dog competition. People try to outdo each other until everyone ends up in ruin.
The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh. Life is the game. It’s games all the days of your life. Trying to do everything will ruin you. Trying to do nothing will ruin you. Moderation is key, I guess.
One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind. This is true. I would love to work all my life to be able to relax and enjoy the profit of my work, even if the profit isn’t financial.
Then I looked again at vanity under the sun. There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, “And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?” This too is vanity and it is a grievous task. Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Everything is better when you have a friend to ride it out with you. A support system is one of the best systems ever. And if, in your moment of need, you look for a support system that isn’t there, then God bless your soul.
Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? Company keeps you warm. How can you rely on your own body heat when you have none?
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Friends are more than a shoulder to cry on. Best friends have each other’s back through everything.
A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction. For he has come out of prison to become king, even though he was born poor in his kingdom. I have seen all the living under the sun throng to the side of the second lad who replaces him. There is no end to all the people, to all who were before them, and even the ones who will come later will not be happy with him, for this too is vanity and striving after wind. Here’s a story about a young one with fifteen minutes of fame. A boy was born, went from rags to riches, and people were excited for a while. But then people got bored and cast him aside. It just goes to show that even memory doesn’t last forever. God is the only truly lasting thing.
There’s chapter four!
–The Jesus Freak Girl