Unhappy Business

What have you achieved in the last 2 years? Or 20? We can be too quick to utter and reminisce our achievements, but what do we have to show for them? We do our best but come a few years, what remains of our efforts is paper we call a certificate or a metal/wood we call an accolade. What has remained of our blood, sweat and tears is summarised in an object, an object that merely bears witness our efforts! We celebrate our achievements when they come along, but when we look back it’s like they never happened. The only thing we can do, is do more and more, to get more and more and then want more. As the wisest man on earth put it, “…it is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with” Eccl 1:13.

We stay busy to remain relevant, to leave a legacy, and do what is expected of us. Indeed, our toil is rewarded, only momentarily. We get our wages, we get acknowledged, we get trophies, medals, promotions, recommendations, and our works published. Whatever the form the reward comes in, we celebrate it and life somehow becomes a bit meaningful (just a bit). However, later, when we turn back it is as if it all never happened. The urge of the ‘now’ and demands of life eclipse glory days. In almost a pathetic way, there is nothing of them. The only consoling thing we can do is pull out dusty trophies and make straight the dog-eared pictures that remind us of our heydays. But truth is, it doesn’t count now. It seems like it’s all an illusion. A chasing after the wind.

Of course past achievements largely contribute to where we are, as everything in life adds up like a link, big or small- though we may not see it now. However, when we try to make reference to our glory days, they just don’t seem to fit well in the current script. It is like every time we are given a new canvas, life, in which we need to continually scribble on it and make our imprints on it. It is what makes life meaningful, and at the same time pitiful.

2 thoughts on “Unhappy Business

  1. Merging our happiness and security with fickle external wins is a source of deep emotional anguish. Our best bet is to remember the good times with a smile, but seek out unchanging internal wins such as integrity and health of character. Well put.

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