This is a foolish and shallow question? This question reverberates in all strata of the society, even in marriages, work place etc. If I must venture an answer, I will say you are dust temporarily wandering this earth and will return to dust from where you came and without the earthly possessions and titles which make you proud and arrogant. The breath in your lungs is by the grace of God, whatever you are or have is by the mercy and providence of God.
If human beings can pause and realise that all is vanity, it will help us leave behind a good and memorable account of ourselves as we run our course here on earth. We all are on a temporary sojourn here, no one knows the day, time or manner of exit, to the wise, this is a humbling realisation. You will be remembered, not by how much money you left behind, the influence you wielded or how many mansions or cars you owned, but by the lives you touched and the positive impact you made on your immediate environment and society at large.
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 – “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant, or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come” It is not by your power or might that you are who or where you are today, knowing that your situation can quickly change for the better or worse should evoke within you a deep sense of humility and gratitude for the affluent and hope for the poor. If this does not make you humble, you are setting yourself up for your misfortune to be celebrated by your friends and family.
Pride and arrogance is a trait callously exhibited by the foolish. When you attend the funeral of a rich and powerful person, you will understand the vanity of life. No matter the cost of the casket, in spite of the high and mighty in attendance or the quality of the cuisine and bar, in spite of your status, rich or poor, the destination is the same, six feet under the earth to become food for worms. As the words dust to dust, ashes to ashes is pronounced the final curtain falls signalling the end of your mortal being leaving behind all the appurtenances of status, wealth and power as you begin your journey to the afterlife to give account of your sojourn here on earth.
I have seen things in my five decades here on earth to understand that arrogance and pride is for ignorant and shallow people. I have witnessed men who as a result of poverty went to school with no shoes, yet they rose out of poverty to rule over men born into generational wealth. I have seen men born into enormous wealth turn beggars, their only affinity to wealth being a nostalgic memory of an affluent life that was once their reality.
I have also seen leaders become followers and followers become leaders. I have witnessed the fall of great men of power and means and have seen men of meagre resources rise to acquire fame, power and wealth. I have seen the young and vibrant slump and die and have also seen the frail and sickly defy death until a ripe old age. No one knows tomorrow and that tomorrow is not assured. Everything in life is transient including life itself, the only thing that outlives you is your benevolence, kindness and compassion towards your fellow men.
Be humble and considerate always, treat everyman with respect and compassion, wield the power you have acquired with good conscience, enjoy your current position and situation, good or bad and be grateful, patient and hopeful. Life is a cycle of seasons, some will bring good fortunes and others will batter us with misfortune. In all seasons, look up to God always, once you have breath in your lungs, it is not over yet, the only constant thing in life is change, for better or for worse, but do not distress yourself with this, keep a positive spirit and strive to be happy always – Sir Stanley Ekezie