“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”
― Immanuel Kant
We have a tendency to confuse contentment and complacency. Contentment is the state of being satisfied or possessing peace of mind. Complacency is being unaware of a potential danger. Contentment is desired. Complacency is dangerous.
It is interesting, however, that complacency seems to be more common than contentment. People today demonstrate complacency regarding many areas of life. Yet, a person who is content is like a unicorn… rare and dangerous! What makes a content person dangerous? Consider the following characteristics.
- Content people prove that quality of life has nothing to do with possessions, popularity, prestige, etc. People who are content don’t need the latest fashions and probably won’t buy new furniture before inviting you to dinner. They are comfortable being who they are and are not concerned with impressing anyone.
- Content people defy modern marketing strategies. Since they are content, they don’t need the latest, greatest, most amazing gadget. They might be carrying a flip phone and it could take them 10 minutes to send a text. That’s OK because they prefer face to face conversation in a relaxed atmosphere, anyway.
- Content people give. They give their time and resources because they aren’t drowning in debt incurred buying things they didn’t need to impress people they don’t know. They have margin in their lives and they realize that real meaning happens in the margins.
- Content people put pressure on the rest of us to reevaluate our lives. A truly content person exudes an energy and vibrancy that can’t be obtained through other means. Content people remind complacent people that it is possible to live a life that matters today and in the years to come.
Complacency is a social disease. Contentment is the cure. Are you one of the sick or a healer? Think about it!
In what areas of life are you complacent? How would true contentment affect your attitude toward your everyday life?