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ByDr. S. Ignacimuthu   posted on01 Apr, 12 8455 Views 0 Comments Main Feature Add to favorite

Contentment

“Contentment comes not so much from greater wealth as from fewer wants”
- D.J.D.




Contentment refers to a state of desirelessness. It is the ability to be satisfied with what one has without unnecessary desires or avarice. It does not imply that one does not want to strive to achieve great things or work hard. Contentment cultivates self-discipline and a life style that is devoid of luxury and ease.

Contentment negates greediness. It arises from the subduing of one’s desires. As Buddha says, “Desire is the root cause of all evil,” so contentment aims to overcome desires which are worldly, petty and greedy. A contented mind is the greatest blessing we can enjoy in this world.

To be happy and satisfied with what we have is the key to a peaceful life. Of course, this does not deter any one from making progress in life. A contented person is never jealous, contentment prompts one to enjoy one’s life without comparing it with that of another; it will not pave the way for unhealthy competition. A contented person will enjoy serenity and peace of mind. Never will we hear complaint or dissatisfaction from contented persons. A contented person is a friend of all. The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble God

Story

A wise man from China once received the favour of visiting heaven and hell. In hell he saw men and women with sunken faces and bony limbs, seated around an enormous heap of tasty rice and fruits. They were all terribly hungry; their hands were tied with long spoons and they could not fold their arms to eat. When they tried to reach their food to the mouth the food was thrown to the floor. They were thinking of only themselves. Whereas in heaven he saw also men and women seated around another heap of rice and fruits very similar to the one he had seen in hell. But here all were very happy with beaming faces and aglow with health. They too could not fold their arms while eating. However, everyone was thinking of the other and hence they were feeding the person in front with contentment and joy.

Contentment Can Be Cultivated through

  • Enjoying one’s life without comparing it with that of others
  • Controlling carefully the use of food, clothing, time, recreation, travel
  • Desiring and requesting only the basic essentials
  • Finding time daily for quiet reflection, to replenish moral and spiritual resources
  • Purchasing only the essential commodities for simple living
  • Overcoming the obsession for foreign goods.


Exercises

  • Recollect life situations where contentment can be practised.
  • What are the positive effects of contentment?
  • Think of a news item, short story, magazine article, literary piece, skit, street play, folk-song, poem, film, biography, photo, painting, T.V. or radio serial depicting this value.

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