That’s right, religious fanatics aren't the only ones who can get something useful from a 3000 year old text. King Solomon still rocks.
“There’s nothing new under the sun.” Actually there’s new stuff all the time. That’s why people are lined up to get the newest iPhone at the mall. Fun, but not necessarily meaningful. Love, infatuation, family, facing your fears…the real things don’t change. Keep your eye on the real things in life. Learn from history and you won’t make the same mistakes as others.
“A crooked thing can’t be straightened.” When that little voice inside tells you to ignore the advice of friends and family so you can learn from your own mistakes, don’t forget that that some mistakes can’t be fixed. (Like the dead 33 year old who parachuted on top of the St. Louis Arch.)
And the wisdom that prevents those mistakes.. “A wise person has eyes in his/her head.” In other words, always think through the potential consequences of your decision. What might happen?
“…there’s a time for war, and a time for peace.” Everything has a time and place. It would be easier to take a position and stick to it. Your brain cells don’t want to rethink anything. But the truth is, that circumstances change all the time. In order to make a wise decision, you have to rethink your position in light of new information. Side with Assad? He’s gassing civilians. Side with the insurgents? They’re beheading people. Side with nobody? Innocents will die. Realize that you just want an easy answer to a complex issue.
“Two are better than one.” “A three strand cord is not easily undone.” These rules apply often when dealing with life. A pair, joined for a cause keeps each other motivated. If there’s a friendship of three, two will always be able to help out the third. (Think:Three Musketeers, Three Stooges, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, etc.)
“He who loves money, will not be satisfied by it.” You want to be a billionaire, go for it. But keep it in perspective. Enjoy wealth, but don’t be in love with it. Be in love with your spouse and children. Be in love with being a good person.
“Better to be at a funeral, than a wedding.” Sure weddings are pleasurable, and funerals are awkward. But which one do you think will really enhance your life and give you something meaningful to ponder?
You’ll love this… “Don’t be too religious or too wise.” and similarly, “There doesn't exist a righteous person that does good and doesn't make a mistake.” Be normal; and realize we all make moral mistakes sometimes.
“..Don’t curse the rich even in your bedroom, because a bird will carry your voice…” How often did you say something or write something and regret it later because it got back to the person you spoke about. Think twice, no…three times before you speak ill of anyone, and then still don’t say it. It will save you a lot of pain later on.
And last but not least, “Send your bread on the surface of the sea and after a while you will find it.” In other words, if you don’t try something you won’t know if you would have succeeded. Every successful person has been willing to take a risk and give their dream a shot.
(These are all quotes from Koheles – Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon)