Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Ours was a typical middle class family. We lived in New Delhi, India. My dad was in a corporate job. He started an entrepreneurial venture when I was about ten, however, by the time I was thirteen, it had tanked abysmally. We were left with almost nothing.
The hardship that the family faced was handled with as much grace and resiliency as possible. My mother, a home-maker, started home-tuitions in addition to doing all the house-work. My dad walked to office as he had to sell his car. We coped with simple food and home-stitched clothes.
As a teenager, I often felt deprived and upset. I would compare our family's situation to those of my classmates and neighbors. Everyone else seemed so fortunate and had so much more than we did. On one such occasion, my mother patiently explained the value of contentment – to be happy with what we had. She reminded me, that despite everything, we were indeed blessed - my siblings and I went to a good school, we had a roof over our heads, and we had friends and family. She encouraged us to think of those who had much less and motivated us to find ways of helping them. She said that by being content we would find happiness and by helping others we would find joy.
At age thirteen it was difficult to understand this, however, her words stayed with me. They made such a positive difference to my life
I learnt to be happy with what I had.
I learnt to help and share.
I learnt to be content but at the same time never be complacent.
Just curious about what you think of contentment. Would love to hear your views and any personal stories.