Sunday 27 July 2014

Thursday of Week 25 Year 2

"Do I look alright?" "Hmm... My hair's in a mess. I need more hairspray." (Though the hair is actually already well groomed) "Better touch up my lips before we go, just in case." (Despite the fact that the person had already touched up the lips earlier) "I must buy this moisturiser. Why? I'm worth it!" (As if the moisturiser determines one's worth) "I've got more qualifications than that person! How come I am not getting the position?" "See those trophies? I am the greatest tennis player!" "Hey you! Get out of my way!" (a driver of a big, expensive vehicle intimidating a driver of a small sedan to move aside, by flashing his or her vehicle lights menacingly, or blaring the vehicle horn extensively, so that he or she can speed past) "I'm smarter than you are! See? I have a Doctorate. You are just a diploma holder. You better be good to me or else!" "They better toe the line! I have the support of the entire management!"  "I'm the greatest pianist. You're nowhere near my class!" "Listen pal! I'm older than you and I know better. Do as I tell you!"

Do these sound familiar? Perhaps at some point in our life, we may have heard someone say similar words. Perhaps we ourselves may have said such words. When we hear such words being uttered, how would we respond? Some of us may look at the person with indignation. Perhaps we may try to avoid such persons. But what if we are the ones who are saying such words? Have we ever thought about the consequences of speaking in this way?

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. Vanity of vanities. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! For all his toil, his toil under the sun, what does man gain by it?" Vanity is defined as having excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, or achievements; being conceited; thinking that the world centres around oneself. Have we been vain or conceited in one form or another? What do we really gain by being so vain? All these things are temporary. Shouldn't we be striving more for that which is eternal?

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