About 70-80 metres from my workplace, an old woman sits to beg. She has a small face, filled with wrinkles. She has no fingers and only one tooth. Her hands and legs have wounds that are bandaged. Her body is fragile and her skin is dry enough to see the slight cracks. She has a mat made of cardboard. She owns a small, dirty bag, which she keeps very close to her, and a vessel to collect money. I am not sure whether you’d believe, but she has a lovely smile. Her dull eyes light up whenever her talks or smiles.
I see her almost every evening. Sometimes, I give her some money; other times, I just pass by. The beautiful thing about her is that regardless of whether I give something or not, she smiles. What makes her smile when she hardly has anything to be happy about?
I am not sure about what makes her happy, but one thing I know for sure is that she has accepted her situation and is content with what she has. She might not have much, but she seems perfectly at peace. She doesn’t force people to give her money. Whenever I cross her path, she lifts her hand with longing eyes. At times, when I don’t have anything to offer, she quietly smiles and waves at me. Isn’t she a sweet person?
Only when we accept our life the way it is, we will learn to be content. I am not saying that we ought to give away everything and start living like her; however, are we content with what we have? Are we able to accept both the good and bad situations we come across? Are we able to smile during both sunny and rainy days?
I am absolutely sure that we can’t be happy every time. It’s impossible! Nevertheless, we can choose to be happy by learning to be content in this short life.
Contentment precedes happiness.