It really is all meaningless.  I’m going to die and so are you.  For 99.99 % in a few generations no one will remember who we are.  No one will remember the kind things we did or anything heroic that may have been accomplished.  If we did something evil we will be remembered a little longer sadly enough.

Just like the wind that blows one direction and then another.  Or a river that goes to the ocean, then the air and back in the river.  There is constant movement but it just repeats itself.  There really is nothing new.  For thousands of years man has been the same, done the same and will be the same again.

So what’s the point?

That’s what Solomon, the wisest man in the world, has asked.  If everything we do is no longer after we die, it is meaningless.

No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

(v. 11)

So what really matters?  This is at the heart of Solomon’s search.  He doesn’t answer it now.  But it leads us to ask questions of our own life.

What are we doing that matters?  What can we do that can bear fruit 500 years from now?  It doesn’t have to be something heroic.  But life is very interconnected.  We can set things in motion either good or bad.  Things that matter.  And things that don’t.  And things that are destructive.  What we do matters.  And it doesn’t.  Solomon will explain later.