Vanity: Everything is Meaningless

By Andy Christian Castillo8504965_orig

That beautiful rose that you lovingly put into enriched water is dead.  Just like I’ll be.  I’m flesh and blood and sweat; bones meant to be broken and buried in the cold earth.  This human vessel will fall off the windowsill and shatter into a million pieces, which no one will be able to put back together again.

I’ll pass like the setting sun.  Existence comes and goes like waves on the shore; here today, and gone tomorrow.  My flesh will become weak and frail and finally fail.  I walk the tightrope of living and breathing; I could slip at any minute and smash into a pile of memories.  I am a gravestone with my name on it; mere dust in the bitter wind- same as you.


Fall will pass and the corn will rattle and shake, the crows will caw their warning, and the leaves will shrivel and die; just like you.  You’ll shrivel and die.  Banish your posh hypocritical denial; see the impending doom.  Watch the dusk fade into blackness, and feel the night air come running across the valley through your hair.  You’re just as guilty as I am.

The flesh on your bones will be stripped down and consumed like mine.  Your warm body will rot and give life to another.  Dirt will fall into lifeless sockets and weeds will grow through your heart.  One day, no one will care what you did: “No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them” (Ecclesiastes 1:11).

All flesh is mortal; there is birth and there is death- no one can slow down or speed up the inevitable process.  We are perishable creatures; destined for destruction.  Existence never stops: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4).  The groundskeeper will trim the hedges over your lifeless form, and no one else will care after a while; because all flesh is linear and has an unavoidable end.  Death is the natural process of mortality.  Everything has an end and a season.


Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged for killing a man in self defense after he tried to rape her.  Where is justice; what has happened to fairness?  My heart breaks- I am literally crying as I write this.  Crying for the poor and the destitute and the downtrodden who cannot rise.  What about the innocent and enslaved Africans who were wretchedly ripped apart from their families, packed like livestock into slaver ships and carried away to a foreign land; where they lived out the rest of their pitiful lives in torture and sorrow.

Sorrow that was inflicted by professing Christians, and torture that was justified by that sacred book.  Can you look me in the eye and tell me that the young mother- who with warm blood running down her torn back, was sent to eternal damnation?  That her screams were not heard?  Damnation for what? for the total injustice that was brought upon her.

Tell me with strong conviction: that the child soldier who has killed more people than his age, deserves judgement.  As Solomon said, “again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter. And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive” (Ecclesiastes 4:1,2).

My only conclusion to this complete unfairness is that I am privileged, wretchedly privileged- to escape suffering and exist in peace.


Don’t blink and I won’t blink either.  Wait until the tender green shoots nudge their way through rubble and breathe in life; until the spring thaw has reaped justice on the bitter cold; until the long winter has been banished.  When the rocks begin to cry and send their tears fleeing over sharp edges in little streams, I will be running through fields of dancing yellow flowers with a heart like a butterfly, that takes flight and soars away; far away over the distant treetops.

I will grasp life in a death-grip and throttle enjoyment from out it’s choking throat.  I will travel the world; kiss beautiful women; and drive down summer roads with wind in my hair, singing at the top of my lungs.  I will capture every moment like it is my last.  I will not live in the future; neither will I base my happiness on the suffering of others.  I will enjoy every blessed experience on this terrible planet, regardless of circumstances.  And when the movie is over,

I’ll drive home cracking open bottles of Muscle Milk and chugging protein like vodka, because that’s what I like to do.  You see, my happiness is a choice; not a destination.


“However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.  You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.  Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.  So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 11:8-10).

At the end of it all, I conclude with Solomon: All is vanity – pursue God with reckless abandon, and love on people as if it’s your last day on earth.

Andy Christian CastilloAndy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s).  He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pursuing a degree in English.  In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.


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