A young man has asked a psalmist about the meaning of life, and having heard his response, offers his own interpretation. The speaker cannot believe that life is "an empty dream"; life is indeed real and there is more to it than waiting for death; however, our time is short and we do move towards the grave. What is important, then, is to act. We must avoid being like dumb beasts; we must live in the present rather than the past or the future. We have the capacity to be like great men who leave footprints in the sand that can hearten and encourage others who see them. Thus, we need to have courage for anything that might come our way, but also we need to learn to "labor and to wait."