I may have written in the past in my blog about Boethius and his consolation of philosophy. Boethius was a big-time advisor to a Roman emperor, a favorite, a sought-after guru. Then, that Roman emperor was deposed and all in his favor, despised. Boethius had to flee, sans riches. In exile, alone on some obscure island, bereft of all his material goods and status, he became depressed and ill. He imagined a conversation with Dame Philosophy, who scolded him for his despair and ill-humor. "Dame Fortune is a fickle dame," said she to him. Dame Fortune is symbolized by a spinning wheel, and those in her favor, at the top of the wheel today, will be bottom-feeders tomorrow. One cannot rely on her or her favors. One must take consolation in philosophy, which is eternal. Centuries later, that omnibus philosopher, Ralph Kramden, put it bluntly in his salt of the earth manner to Norton, that everyman. "You have to be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to see these same people on your way down." The spinning wheel of life.
Or, as Pirkei Avot said, "Open your doors to the poor, find a friend, obtain a teacher, do not become overly involved with the affairs of the government."
Because no matter what religion or faith, material goods are temporary and cannot be relied upon to console. At any time, for no reason, health, fortune, friends, governments are gone. And one has to conduct a life-review--did I do the best I could do? Or should I have taken the road I didn't? And in the latter lies despair.