When I used to visit home during summer vacations, my parents did everything they could for me and my siblings. They got us whatever we asked for. They always remembered what each of us likes and made sure we got them. For example, I love to eat fish. It’s not easy to get fish in Rajasthan, but they made sure that we had fish at least 3–4 times during our stay. When we went out to buy the things that were required for the next academic year, from uniforms and clothes to other necessities, they got for us everything we liked. We didn’t lack anything. However, I had a strange habit.
Every time we shopped, I became excited because I got some new things. The moment we reached home, somehow, my mood turned off and I compared. I compared the things they got me with the things they got my sisters. I was so discontent though I was the one who chose them. There was no gratitude for the things I received. I felt happy for a while and then kept complaining.
What an attitude, right?? I feel so bad that I hardly thanked my parents then.
I couldn’t thank my parents because I was discontent. Maybe I wanted more or maybe I wanted something better. Whatever the reason may be, I realised that when there is discontentment, there will never be a bit gratitude in our attitude.
The more the comparison, the more the discontentment.
Today, I am glad that God has changed me in this particular area, and words aren’t enough to express my gratitude towards Him. We don’t have to compare our lives with those of the others and feel superior or inferior. What about competition? There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, we need to be competent in this world. The question is, “are we competing to be better than someone else?”
When comparison is the driving factor, competition can ruin us.
Are we thankful for all that we have today, from family and good health to the situations we are in? Are we feeling low seeing others move on and get recognition? Are we heart-broken because none of our prayers is answered, but those who hardly pray seem to be blessed? Are we shaken when our hard work is not appreciated, while those with wrong intentions grab the awards? Are we hurt when those with masks get a good name?
Sometimes, no matter how much we earn, how much we eat and how much we have, if there is discontentment, we will never be happy in this life. We can only keep accumulating more than what is necessary and one fine day realise that there is a lot of junk inside than outside the house. When we learn to be content with what we have, we will not only be happy but also be grateful. In addition, we will learn to differentiate needs from wants.
Today, I am thankful because I know have many wants, but I don’t have a single need. A content person is always happy. I have never seen a content person unhappy.
Where there is contentment, there is gratitude.