NEXT I OBSERVED all the oppressions and sadness throughout the earth-the
tears of the oppressed, and no one helping them, while on the side of
their oppressors were powerful allies. So I felt that the dead were better
of than the living. And most fortunate of all are those who have never
been born, and have never seen all the evil and crime throughout the
Then I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force
of envy and jealousy! But this, too, is foolishness, chasing the wind. The
fool won't work and almost starves, but feels that it is better to be lazy
and barely get by, than to work hard when, in the long run, it is all so
I also observed another piece of foolishness around the earth. The is
the case of a man who is quite alone, without a son or brother, yet he
works hard to keep gaining more riches, and to whom will he leave it all?
And why is he giving up so much now? It is all so pointless and
Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can
be much better. If one falls, the other pulls him up, but if a man falls
when he is alone, he's in trouble.
Also, on a cold night, two under the same blanket gain warmth from
each other, but how can one be warm alone? And one standing alone can be
attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three
is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
It is better to be a poor but wise youth than to be an old and foolish
king who refuses all advice. Such a lad could come from prison and
succeed. He might even become king, though born in poverty. Everyone is
eager to help a youth like that, even to help him usurp the throne. He can
become the leader of millions of people, and be very popular. But, then,
the younger generation grows up around him and rejects him! So again, it
is all foolishness, chasing the wind.
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