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Nothing ever new under the sun

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.”— Ecclesiastes 1:9

Times will change. Development will happen. There will be inventions. As many great leaders as bad ones will come our way. Life will happen. Whatever happens, however, the future is only going to be a recurring past. As long as we live under the sun, anything new will only be a remake of the old!

Life is a cycle. Today is yesterday’s future and tomorrow’s past. This interesting cycle of life makes sure that nothing happens that has never ever happened before. Like the hand of the clock, life keeps moving until it comes back to where it started— nothing new. What we call new fashion is a rebrand of old fashion. What we refer to as new life philosophies are only old philosophies reworded.

Pause and ponder over all the happenings around us; the political vigilantism, unfulfilled political promises, Ponzi and get-rich-quick schemes and kidnappings among others. There’s nothing ever new. Many may adopt different strategies but it is always the same old schemes.

When we observe this pattern of life, it should make us as wise as serpents. If there’s ever going to be nothing new under the sun, then we should be careful where those who went ahead of us stumbled. If we are no Supermen, we ought to be careful when making similar decisions that have destroyed others in the past. They may definitely destroy us, too.

The principles that shot others to success yesterday will still work when applied to the letter today. On the other hand, the same mistakes that brought others down yesterday will do same to us today if we make them. Life’s principles don’t change. The consequences that follow our actions will forever be same despite the change of times and seasons.

If we are in the peak season of our lives, we ought to know how to manage our success. What annihilated the careers of the Tiger Woods and Mike Tysons can similarly destroy us should we go down the same road. As a young man, if you have read about the biblical Samson, it should, at least, foretell you what your future looks like if you lie in the bosom of the wrong woman. The past is a lecture of lessons for all of us because there is nothing new under the sun!

Nothing extraordinary is going to happen on earth. There is no one yet to be born whose talent or wisdom has never been experienced before. There’s never going to be an invention whose model has never existed before. Every new invention is built on something old. Every new discovery revolves around old knowledge.

The more we learn about the past, the more we should be humble. The more we get to know what has been built by our mentors, the more we ought to be appreciative of their efforts. What we will ever be will be based on who they ever were. What we will ever build will be only a continuation of where they left off. Nothing new at all.

When you are graced enough to buy a new car, never assume your kind has never been seen before. That car is only a remake of an old one. When your skills at work are extolled to the heavens, never think you are above humanity. Your present and future achievements are another’s past. You are nothing new under the sun. Be humble!

Nothing should take us by surprise when we are certain that there can never be anything on earth we have never seen or heard before. At this point of my life, nothing surprises me anymore. When I read of a mother selling her newborn baby for a pittance, I heave. Joseph’s brothers did it, too. When I hear of a husband hacking his wife and children to death, I know it’s nothing new on the face of this planet. Cain did same to Abel.

When you lose a loved one, cry but wipe your tears, too. Whatever your losses may be in life, clean yourself up and move on. Your loss is not one that has not befallen anyone before. You are not the first and won’t be the last either. Before Horatio Spafford wrote the hymn “It is well” after losing his family and business in a series of events, Job’s family and entire property had all perished in a day!

In Ghana, when politicians steal and get away with it, I don’t get befuddled anymore. We have a long history of pampering those who milk us dry. When I read of petty criminals being slapped with huge fines and sentences while our politicians walk free, I nod. That has always been the case. Little wonder many have lost trust in the judiciary.

Life is like that examiner who keeps repeating his questions. The questions about faithfulness in marriage/relationships haven’t changed. The questions about honesty are still same. Our answers to these questions will determine the consequences. And guess what, the consequences are same because nothing is ever new under the sun!

By Kobina Ansah

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, an Accra-based writing company (www.scribecommltd.com).

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