Things Fall Apart

Why is it ironic that Unoka responded to Okoye's request by saying,"The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who knell under them"?

This quote is in chapter one.

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This quote is about strength and weakness. According to Unoka, those that have lent him more money should get paid first yet they do not pester him. Those that lent him more money are the ones that should be standing strong and closer to the sun, hence God. Those who have lent him little should be kneeling. The irony is that Unoka is the weakest one for having so much debt in the first place.