Spending your life in futile endeavors

I’ve been reading the book of Ecclesiastes this week, and although I’ve read it before, I’ve been reading it more closely. Basically, the theme of the book is the futility of spending your life seeking temporary riches, knowledge and power, instead of eternal things.

Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, had everything people think will be make them happy: money, women, power, knowledge…and he realized it meant nothing, nor did it bring him happiness or fulfillment.

There’s nothing wrong with making money, having it and spending it, but not if you put your trust in it is futility. Title, power, “fame”, influence? Those can be “taken” from you in a second, and few people will remember you when you’re gone.

You should live every day as if it might be your last, care for the people you love, and of course meet your obligations, but never take your mind off eternal things. Many of the “obligations” we claim to have are self-imposed and not really important. We all have to make a living, but don’t forget while you’re at it, to make a life.

“Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:6

Heidi Harris

Everyone who was in Vegas October 1 doesn’t deserve a check!

We live in a culture and climate today where everyone wants a band-aid for every boo-boo. No one can handle anything anymore. Some people who merely attended the Route 91 Harvest concert where the Las Vegas Massacre occurred now think they’re somehow entitled to compensation. Sure, it had to be scary to all and traumatizing to some, but I had several friends there, and they are fine. One of them was on the stage when shots rang out, many of those shots aimed at the stage. Sure, he was shaken up, but he is working and living his life. Another girl I’ve known for decades saw a man right next to her die. She’ll never forget it, but she will get through it.

The latest local news story features a woman whining about the money she clearly expected to get. Why? She wasn’t physically injured. She claims “people aren’t who they used to be”. Please. If you get in a fender bender you’re not who you used to be. I’ve been rear-ended twice and you’d better believe that if I have to stop suddenly, I look in my rearview mirror or try to get to the shoulder immediately, so I can avoid a direct hit. Life changes you, every day.

Another woman claims helicopters are now a trigger. Come on! How much do you want for that one, hon? Ask a combat veteran how they handle the trauma of seeing a helicopter.

There was another guy making the news who claims to have been living in his car since October 1 because he was so traumatized over the last few months. When you put different people in the same situation, you will have different outcomes. It’s just a fact. You’re not going to make every person whole by giving them money.

A few years ago I was at the San Diego Zoo on the bus tour. Three kids, maybe six to eight years old, were standing in front of the elephant exhibit watching the elephants eat. Without warning, the elephant picked up his trunk and blasted the kids with water like a firehose. It was hilarious. Two of the kids thought so too, and were laughing. The third kid was hysterical and clearly traumatized. Should the Zoo give HER a check, because she couldn’t handle something the other kids could? She might be terrified of zoo animals forever, like people who are bitten by dogs at a young age sometimes are.

Yes, it is the same thing. Imagine what our service members have to see or experience in combat. Imagine what homicide investigators, paramedics and child abuse investigators have to see every day. I have a friend who had to investigate the murder of a child when he has kids the same age. You could argue that he signed up for the job, and that’s true, but people go through things. Life is tough. People used to tough it out. Now everyone wants a band-aid in the form of a check.

How much should we give you because you’re “not the same person” mentally? A thousand dollars? A million? Enough so you never have to work again? A lifetime supply of anti-depressants? The money in the Victims’ Funds should go to people with permanent injuries first, some of whom will need lifetime care, then to people who were injured but will recover, and so on. But not people who can’t handle life.

It would be great if everyone’s medical bills could be covered, but with Obamacare, I’m sure that won’t be an issue, right?

If you’re living in in your car because of one event, you were headed there anyway, and it’s way too late for a check.

Heidi Harris