“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” ~Benjamin Franklin …

Am I a rich man? Of course, the answer to this lies in how I define “rich.” By society’s definition, riches are a measure of financial wealth and expensive possessions. But by Benjamin’s definition, riches are found in contentment with what we have now. One is attainable by only a select few, and is conditional upon outward factors and circumstance… and the other is available to each of us as we already have it within us. Which definition do you prefer?

If I desire for many things, and spend my time and energies questing for them, then I will never be content, for no matter how many things I have they will always be too few. Thus, a man considered rich by society could actually be poor, for he may not possess contentment and happiness in his life. However, a poor man, who owns very little, and expects very little, is content with the little he has and is therefore truly rich.

The desires and expectations we choose to have in life help to determine how we feel. By having perpetual desires, or having high expectations, we only serve to disappoint ourselves… we effectively set ourselves up for discontentment and unhappiness.

Contentment and happiness is ours for the taking. We need only to live a simpler life. To embrace contentment, show appreciation and gratitude, and notice the wonder and beauty that surrounds us each day we are alive. Where do your desires lie?

Find the marvelous in the simple things today.

Questions to consider:

How do you define rich? Poor?

Why do so many of us feel we need expensive things to keep us happy?

How might our lives change if we were able to find contentment in our current situations?

For further thought:

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” ~G.K. Chesterton


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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