Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter.
And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.
But better than both is the one who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: