I can’t quite seem to figure out this passage: “All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied. For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
Here’s my best shot at what seems to be another complaint of Solomon’s. Some people work hard, but they don’t receive a sufficient return on their labor or they are simply not satisfied with the return.
Therefore, the wise, hard-working person has no advantage over the foolish, lazy person who doesn’t have anything because he doesn’t work at all.
Thus, sight is better than desire. Actually having something is obviously preferable over not having what you need or want. To Solomon, this is vanity.
He has good points, but they are obviously from a human standpoint. Perhaps you could even say that this is a selfish human standpoint.
So am I satisfied with what I have even though it may sometimes be nothing more than the lazy person has? Am I satisfied with what I have or do I wish I had something I don’t and complain that I don’t have it? What is my perspective on my life?
A man may work hard to earn his wages,
And yet his soul is not satisfied.
Another may sleep as sluggishness rages,
But yet he has as much as the man who tried.
To work and not have may sometimes seem vain
When others don’t work and have just as much.
But life does not always provide us fair gain,
What’s more is that we still do work for as such.