Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.
So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.”
And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”
I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.
This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.