"In this world there are only two tragedies," said Oscar Wilde. "one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." This paradoxical proverb has often proved true.
Many people think that if they only had more money they would be happy. Howard Hughes was the world's richest man when he was only 45 years old. Twenty years later, at sixty five, he still had all his money but was probably the world's most miserable man. He had retreated from society, living in small dark rooms in different hotels and keeping all the sun out. He was dirty , his beard grew down to his waist, and his hair fell down his back. His fingernails were two inches long. His huge body had shrunk to nothing.
In today's pandemic times many people are also asking themselves about the meaning of life. I don't need to go into that any further here. Everyone knows. Everyone may experience it themselves or find it in their families and surroundings. Yes, the pandemic is far from over, even if there are the first openings and loosenings here and there.
"What is the point of life?" people are asking. You work hard, and many times someone else gets the credit. You struggle to be good, and evil people take advantage of you. You are in a great situation and accumulate money, and it just goes to spoiled fellow men and women. You seek pleasure, but it turns sour on you. And everyone - rich or poor, good or evil, meets the same end. We all die.
I found Ecclesiastes in my bible. A book for our time. Ecclesiastes strikes a responsive chord. No century has seen so much progress, and yet such despair. What is the purpose of life anyway? Is there any ultimate meaning? I even asked myself all these questions, since some people around me passed away during the last weeks.
A key phrase in this book, "under the sun", describes the world lived on one level, apart from God and without any belief in the afterlife. If you live on that level, you may well conclude that life is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes attracts extreme reactions. Novelist Thomas Wolfe said of it, "Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound."
It's really true. Please check it out and try to read it. And find out for yourself if life really seems so meaningless!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.
Receive email updates from Business Week.