Pleasure and pain are closely interwoven in the web of life. We have anxieties and sorrows, but why should we exaggerate these, and under-estimate the numerous blessings which we have, and which we can easily enjoy? Those whom you regard happier than yourself have their own anxieties which are, perhaps, worse. Nature works in a spirit of compensation. We must remember that the darkest cloud has a silver lining., and that our greatest troubles will soon end.
The darkest day, live till to-morrow, will have passed away.’ Our troubles and sorrows are more fleeting than our joys, and we must face them with a happy and cheerful mind. Contentment means satisfaction and happiness with what God has given us.
Contentment is a great blessing. It is real alchemy, the philosopher’s stone, which turns everything, however mean, into gold. “A contented mind is a continuous feast,” says a proverb. A contented man is always happy, even though he has little. Seeing that his neighbours have much more than he has, he does not feel. envious, and does not make himself miserable. He feels thankful for what he has, and thinks he might have been worse. This thought is a great aids to contentment. Look below yourself, and you will see how much better off you are than so many others. Secondly, let us bear in mind that man wants but little here below, nor that little long. Most of our miseries are imaginary. We sometimes think of some calamities which might possibly happen, but which never happen. Troubles grow if you brood over them. If we only brood over our troubles, we make ourselves miserable, but if we look to the good things we have, we shall be happy.
Some one said: “Show me a thoroughly contented man, and I shall show you a thoroughly; useless man.” This is not a right view of contentment. Contentment does not, and should not make us lazy and inactive, it should not take away from us all ambition to rise, or to ameliorate our condition. It should on no account prevent us from putting forth our best efforts to advance. ourselves in life. It gives us comfort and consolation amid difficulties and failures, it softens our griefs and sorrows; it raises us to a true appreciation of what is good and beautiful.
Never be melancholy. Fight against difficulties vigorously, and if you are contented with what you are and with what you have, you will easily overcome your troubles which temporarily cloud your path.
My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such perfect joy therein I find,
As far exceeds all earthly bliss
That God and Nature has assigned.
Though much I want that most men have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.