Contentment is self-satisfaction with one’s own position. It enables one to bear calmly the hardships one has to confront in life. It keeps the person satisfied whatever the circumstances are to be in his life.
Contentment is not the same as satisfaction. Contentment is inborn; while satisfaction depends on outside objects. When a man gets what he wants, he is said satisfaction depends on outside objects. When a man gets what he wants, he is said to be satisfied. But a mind that hankers after more and more cannot get real satisfaction. The contented man does not hanker after what he has not. There seems stillness of contentment on his face.
Contentment is better than riches. A contented man is generally blessed with comfort, ease, and happiness. He is much superior to a mere rich man. Riches cannot give us happiness; they are only a means to that end. Besides, they often prove to be a source of troubles and anxiety to the persons who own them. But the happiness of a contented man is permanent as it does not depend upon external circumstances.
Contentment sweetens and brightens life. It unlocks the gates of joy. Also, It keeps the mind above distressing passions such as envy, jealousy, ambition, and greed. It leads to truth, piety, and humility. It develops an understanding for those who have no wealth.
True and Wrong Contentments
True contentment must be distinguished from wrong contentment. Our contentment is wrong if we are contended despite having poor living. In such a case, we must make efforts to better our life. We must upgrade our lodging, clothing, eating, and drinking. True content consists of being patient and happy in a situation that is suited to our means and income. It is generally admired by the good and the wise who try their best to practice it in their lives.
The virtue of contentment may be cultivated and developed. Many of us have already much more than we actually require, yet they hanker after more. Thus, they are disturbed by a sense of perpetual want that robs them of true happiness.
Nature has showered us many gifts through its distribution of blessings. There remains no reason for our being discontented. Contentment is a heavenly blessing. It begets charity and sympathy. It leads to truth, piety, and virtue. Also, It takes our thoughts heavenwards and gives us salvation.