Saturday, August 20, 2022

The Comfort of Vanities

Solomon in the Bible was someone in whom God was so proud that he was granted any wish that he would want. He said that he wanted to be given wisdom, so God made him the wisest person in the world... and a difficult and often depressing life to provide that wisdom. Part of the culmination of his wisdom (apart from his taking many wives from other religions) was to write Ecclesiastes. We don't often hear much from that book, because it is all about how the pursuits in life are vain...

"the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." ECC 9:11

That is just one verse from a long book that lists many things in life and how it all leads to vanity. Indeed, returning to his gift from God you might say, he says, "For in much wisdom there is much sorrow; whoever increases knowledge increases grief." (Ecc 1:18)

It can be a depressing read, but it is also comforting in a way.  You might be wondering how hearing how all your pursuits are pointless in the end, but think of it this way.  All the pursuits of EVERYONE is pointless in the end.

I read one time, before the lockdowns and pandemic that would have expanded it, that 40 percent of those that are living in middle to upper levels have significant amounts of debt.  There was a Netflix series I watched once called Becoming Anna that was based on a true life story of an upper income woman that conned many people by pretending to have a fortune tied to her past and everything she did was based in debt to one person or another.  My point is that like half of those people you model and want to become are living a lie created by debt that will one day come due.  Their life is not as carefree and free as you would believe.

Further, I often tell my sad stories, because I not only believe in being honest about the truth I have learned from it but I want others to learn from my stories.  Most don't tell their stories, even though they have them.  So, when you feel that your life is cursed for not having the continual joys of others that you see, you are are not seeing the heartbreaks and failures in THEIR past.  You are not receiving less than others.  They are just not honest about it to you, and that lack of transparency in the world leads to MUCH of the depression that is strangling people from recovering and trying again.

So, when you feel like your efforts are leading no where, have your hopes dashed, and feel like you have less joy than others around you; just remember that it is true of all of us, because we are... human. 

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