Yan's Corner - In Touch

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Little Bird Told Me

One of the books in the Bible I like is Ecclesiastes, or also called the Preacher. Indeed, there is so much wisdom in the book that each time I read it I get some new insights.

When I started the blog on Valentine Day this year, I have wanted my blog to be free from “politics”. Having worked in the press for nearly three decades, I think I have enough of it. I want my blog to be positive and a delight to my visitors. But, my morning reading on the book of Ecclesiastes gave me some insights on the issue of “government”. There is an urge to share some wisdom of King Solomon today.

King Solomon was the head of the country in his day. So, he was the government. He admitted in the book that all government is not good:

Woe to you, O Land, when your king is a child
And your princes feast in the morning.
Happy are you, O Land, when your king is the son of free men,
And your princes feast at the proper time
For strength, and not for drunkenness! (Eccl 10:16-17RSV)

Some administrations are difficult to live with when they are headed by persons who are greedy, incompetent, arrogant and even untrustworthy. We have seen enough of it either in our homeland or in other foreign countries. Therefore, you see the princes “feasting in the morning”. In Hebrew, morning was supposed to be devoted to work, to solve problems of the people. They feasted in the evening and night. So, if a person was feasting even in the morning, it meant the leaders were not working.

But if the “king is born of free men”, he would be responsible. He feasted at the proper time and not to get drunk, but to get strength.

The Searcher guided us to get the wisdom from God -

Through sloth the roof sinks in,
and through indolence the house leaks. (Ecclesiastes 10:18 RSV)

Bread is made for laughter,
and wine gladdens life,
and money answers everything. (Ecclesiastes 10:19 RSV)

The Preacher is comparing the nation to a house. If there is no firm foundation, people are not hardworking, the house leaks. Even the simple pleasures of lives, bread and wine could not be enjoyed. Money answers everything means money comes from hard work. The leaders may be weak, but if the citizens are hardworking, it still contributes to a healthy nation - a house that is not leaking, and people enjoying the basic necessities of life, bread and wine.

Now, the next section of the warning hits me hard -

Even in your thought, do not curse the king,
nor in your bedchamber curse the rich;
for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
or some winged creature tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20 RSV)

That reminds me of Screenshot’s “little bird”! Perhaps, Jeffooi can tell me whether “A little bird told me” originated from here?

Do we indulge in "cursing" the government? The Preacher said, not even in your thoughts, not even in your bedchamber!

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