On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? – Martin Luther King Jr.
The above extract succinctly points to one outstanding and undying fact: vanity is mostly coupled with popularity. This assertion may be a mere hoax to many but it will remain the simple truth until the contrary is proved. Without mincing words, popularity in most cases breeds from vanity or futility. Why do I say so? I will explain.
Wise king Solomon intoned: “But when I reflected on all the works that my own hands had done and on all the hard work that I had toiled to accomplish, I saw that everything was futile, a chasing after the wind; there was nothing of real value under the sun”. – Ecclesiastics 2:1.
If the wisest and richest Man on earth said the above, my brother what else are we fighting for? Solomon’s wealth and wisdom was unquestionably divine, no man on earth has and will compare himself to Solomon’s.
Jehovah promised him never to have a successor of his kind. He composed hundreds of songs, thousands of proverbs, married a thousand wife, had uncounted money but saw them as futility, so what else?
People now place much attention on trivialities, things of low or no worth,, things that appears like a midst and disappears in seconds. Though it does not start today, it is more prevalent now than ever before.
Among the things people are running after include money, being famous (socially and politically), academic qualifications and beauty. Most people thinks that happiness comes from achieving these things but they later see that happiness eludes them. Let me briefly discus them seriatim.
Concerning money, it is no offence to be rich. Money is very good, indeed it severs as a protection. “For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner”. – Ecclesiastics 7:12.
Buy on the contrary, what do you do to have money? Do you place money in its proper place or do you idolise it? Do you mare your spirituality for money’s sake? Do you safeguard and protect others interest while seeking for money of do you play ‘what concerns me’ game?
It is arcane or esoteric that words would rather be otiose to describe what men have done to have money. People are killing, becoming commercial sex workers, trafficking, hijacking and committing all sort of untold acts to have money. When you die, what will happen to your money? Who has ever leave to the grave with silver or gold? This is real madness, indeed vanity upon vanity.
On the issue of being famous, I will be construed to social and political perspective for sociality is extremely amorphous in shape.
Socially, what will happen if a man Is not a celebrity? Why would people go extra Miles in gaining popularity? What will motivate a sane man to start bullying to be known as trouble maker? I seem not to comprehend this unwholesome act again, this is vanity. You are not the first and will never be the last.
On the hand, is it not madness to be competing online on the number of followers, likes and friends they are having? What would motivate a sane woman to start posting pictures that are not supposed to be for public consumption to have likes?
What does trending on social media take a person to? Why and how should you mare your reputation to be having likes on Facebook? What does or will this avalanche of persons add to your reputation, self dignity, greatness and personalities?
To our politicians, this one you are killing you are killing humans like flies to assume office, will you die? This one you are misappropriating public funds to built yourself the latest house, to buy the latest car, won’t you die? Will you not one day vacate the office? Are you the first, even if you are, won’t you be succeeded? This is vanity upon vanity.
On aspect of academic and educational qualification, sincerely speaking, nothing is wrong with acquiring knowledge and wisdom. It serves, protects and sustains. “For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner”. -per wise King Solomon.
But the question is: How and why are you pursuing this qualification? To come and use it to oppress or liberate? To use and Puff up with pride? To use it and fight for means of likelihood?
Why should one be going extra miles to do things that are not chaste for qualification’s sake? Having sexual affairs with tutors and lectures to have good grades and obtain a certificate? A certificate that is novel? The one someone else has not received?
You want to make first class, better, nothing is wrong with that. But why do you then forget the fountain of knowledge and wisdom, God? You even lack time to pray once in day because of academic qualification, you eschew church and other religious activities and gatherings for qualification, what ground will you break, the text you are reading, was is not written by humans like you? What will you achieve that others have not achieved? This is with respect vanity upon vanity.
On the issue of beauty, never will it be bad to appreciate nature. Our God is a beautiful one and we were all created in his image thus we need to be beautiful. However, It is disgusting to know that most people indulge themselves in abnormalities yo become beautiful and attractive. Plethoras of examples of such activities abound which i will not mention. we need to be careful in this regard.
“Charm may be false, and beauty may be fleeting,But the woman who fears Jehovah will be praised”. -Proverbs 31:30.
This issue has been orchestrated over the years with thousands of beauty contests organized, may this beauty of a thing not become a threat to our personalities and spirituality after all beauty fades.
The trivial attention given to beauty and it prerequisites is aptly enunciated by Sir Alexander Pope’s “Rape of the Lock”. The poem has deliberate and adumbrate on the trivial attention alarmed by the parties involved.
Having said all these, a sane man should be able to decipher things that are important from the less important. An average man should also be in the position to know the extent he should go to achieve these material things emphasized above, our power of discernment should help us make good decisions when issues like this comes up.
It should also be bored in mind that there is nothing in this world that will have in our possession forever excluding our personal relationship and friendship with our heavenly father. Our life in this wicked system of things should not be based on trivialities and material things. We will all die, these are all vanity upon vanity.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy. –
Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead. – Chanakya
On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right. – Martin Luther King Jr.
It is high time we started spreading this nemesis of triviality and vanity, let’s start curbing it now, it is for our good now and in the future.
Edikan Ekanem is a student of University of Uyo, a writer, a columnist, a literal observer, an analyst, a critic but remains politically neutral. He can be reached at: 08130015006,firstname.lastname@example.org.