Solomon was wildly successful. He was a brilliant thinker. And yet, he realized that all his quests for wisdom, money, and power led him to vanity. "For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow" (1:18). He saw everything under the sun, and deemed all of man's work and effort meaningless vanity. He noticed we (humans) spend our entire live striving after the wind, and forget to enjoy life. This must be why my good friend says:
Do less. Be more.But Solomon also warns of too much pleasure. He made great houses, planted vineyards for himself, made gardens of fruit trees, parks to play in, dug a few pools (sounds like MTV cribs), bought male and female slaves - who multiplied and brought him more baby slaves, had the biggest zoo in the world, and filled the vaults full of silver and gold and some crowns, goblets, and jewels (sounds like National Treasure). He made sure there were plenty of women hanging around for his spontaneous and frequent delight. He said "whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure" (2:10).
And yet, even with all that ... he looks back on his life and says this:
Then I considered all my hands had done and the toil I had expended doing it, and behold, all was vanity (meaningless) and a striving after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. (2:11)Meaningless, he says. Meaningless. He did all that and still came up short, empty, and hollow.
Do less. Be more.