As we all pass through life looking at people and materialistic things around us, we often tend to look at people above us and desire to be like them.
It is said that a man complained about his old shoes until he saw a man who had no feet.
Contentment is one of the most important prerequisites for happiness in life, and, unfortunately, many of us don’t have it. We have a good car that meets our needs, but we always want a nicer, more expensive one, a Mercedes or a Jaguar perhaps. We have a nice house, but we always want a bigger, fancier, more expensive one. More jewelry, fancier clothes, a boat…
The list goes on. We always think about more rather than saying, “Thank God” for what we already have.
A good rule for developing contentment is to always look at the people who have less than us, not the ones who have more.
In America, this is difficult because almost all advertising is geared toward showing us people who have more than us and enticing us to want it. They show us beautiful cars, beautiful houses, handsome men, and beautiful women. And we can get it all with a credit card. If our lives don’t match the ad, we should make a change, buy a new car, get a new wife or girlfriend, give her a bigger diamond!
Practical Suggestions in Developing Contentment
The following are some principles that, if remembered, will help us develop this type of contentment in our own lives:
– As previously mentioned, we should look at the people who have less than us, not those who have more.
– When purchasing something, we should consider what we need, not how glamorous or prestigious it is.
– We should feel empathy for the poor and know that they have rights on our excess money.
– We should look at what we already have and be thankful to God.
Many people possess the material goods of the world and are not happy. In fact, they are often the most miserable people. With everything they have, they still feel they want more. This unfilled desire, along with the constant nagging in their heart for more, makes them unhappy. Those who have little but feel no need for more do not experience this nagging in their heart. They can relax and find peace.
Indeed, the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who is content with what he has.