I woke up at about 2.49 am today pondering on the series of events that have happened/are happening around me in the past few months till date and I couldn't help but be grateful that I have a nature and and an understanding of contentment. There is a kind of peace you get when you have risen above all that should be but isn't yet; that sort of peace comes from being contented with whatever you have.
I heard about the news of Nigerian artist, Dammy Crane, being arrested in the USA over credit card fraud and all that and I felt a cold shiver run down my spine. Do I know him personally? No, but I felt terrible that he seems to have thrown away all he's worked for over his lack of contentment, if the stories are true. The desire to want to splurge and live the lifestyle of keeping up with the
Kardashians Joneses is the greatest undoing of most people. Careers that people have built and laboured over for years go down the drain after being caught out in their own scams and sham lives. Why would anyone throw all that away just for a few thousand Facebook or Instagram likes? I felt really disappointed and hurt at how it's all playing out.
Truth is, you must have an equilibrium between the things you desire and the things you are able to acquire/achieve, otherwise you will definitely tip the scales and more often than not, the scales are never tipped in ones favour when there is a lack of contentment. You cannot go through life racking up debts and living above your means in order to impress others. They won't be there to support you when things come crashing down because they did not ask you to do illegal stuff in other to keep up appearances and largely because your downfall will hurt them as much as it would hurt you. When people place you on a high pedestal and you crash due to greed or lack of integrity, the pedestal often fall on those who have built it. The hurt and the disappointment are shared by your loved ones alongside your shame. We must make conscious efforts to be satisfied with what we have even as we strive, legitimately, to become bigger and better in all we do.
Growing up, whenever I was bad and took my dad's loose change without asking him,
(I hated eating food and preferred to take sweets and bubble gum so I would nick a few coins, get caught and get disciplined thoroughly. I am remorseful now, that was eons ago. :) he had a song he would sing to be in my dialect which simply translated to "be satisfied with your own stuff, be contented with what you have". I can't ever forget that song and who knows if that's what helped form my deep resolve to be contented with what I have, however little it may seem. I have also learnt that what seems trash to you is actually worth its weight in gold to others. Just be contented with whatever you have.
I recall this poem we used to recite in primary school and this has also stayed with me through the years. We have people who have so much but are yet not contented with all they have; they would rather take from the less privileged because they lack contentment. Contentment is everything, it gives you peace of mind and the courage to face anyone and anything, knowing nothing they have can intimidate or faze you.
At the end of the day, when we leave this cold cruel world, we won't take a pin with us. A friend of mine called me on Sunday evening to share her first experience at a Muslim funeral. The sweet old lady who died was wealthy when she was alive but according to Islamic traditions, she was buried in just a cloth, tied with ropes and put 6ft below the ground without a casket!!!! My friend was really traumatised by it and even as she recounted it to me and I envisioned it, I was scarred as well. I told her I would cal her back but I'm yet to. What is this life sef? All those houses, laces, fancy cars, accounts, Louboutins, purses, trips abroad, etc means nothing at the end of the day.
Louisa May Alcott captured it quite aptly when she wrote " I am content with what I have. Little be it, or much".