The virtue of contentment Introduction

The virtue of contentment: Introduction

What is the important of contentment in our pursuit of happiness in life?

In modern days of rank materialism (Vastuvad) and consumerism (Upbhogvad), most people are seen spending most of their time and life accumulating a wealth of various kinds like money, landed properties, flats, ornaments, metal like gold and silver, etc. There is a rat race among the people to achieve more and more of these things, but still, they are not satisfied at all because they are caught up in a vicious circle: “The more they are satisfied, the more they are famished.” The hunger for these things which is born out of the vices of body-consciousness mad possessiveness goes on increasing in them and famishing them more. Thus, the more they have, the more they want. The study of economics says: “Human wants are unlimited. After one want is satisfied, the other one takes its place.” In this way, contentment, peace and happiness elude from the people who are possessive in nature and hungry for material wealth and are mad after consumption of things. Voluptuousness is, therefore, called a vice/sin.

Concept of Contentment

The Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of Current English defines the term ‘contentment’ as “the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind; a feeling of fulfillment.” Thus, ‘contentment’ refers to the contentment or satisfaction of all aspects of human personality, be it mental, emotional, intellectual, financial, moral and spiritual for leading a holistic and contented life in society while coming in mutual interaction with various people in the global environment at present.

Contentment is both a value and a virtue

The term ‘values’ in Sociology refers to the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group have an affective regard. These values may be positive such as cleanliness, freedom, love, mercy, truth, charity, peace, contentment, forgiveness or education; or negative such as hatred, falsity, cruelty, crime, or blasphemy, etc. Contentment is a socio-spiritual value in the sense that people in the society respect a contented person who is self-satisfied with his limited means of living and never hankers for possession of excessive money and materials.

The term ‘virtue’ refers to moral excellence; goodness; righteousness; conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; a good or admirable quality; uprightness; rectitude. Contentment is a virtue in the sense that a contented person in his personal, social and spiritual life conforms to the moral and ethical principles of thrift, economy and still remains happy, peaceful and cheerful with whatever he/she has at his/her disposal, and with the abundant belief and faith in the grace of God Father.

There is no wealth like contentment

A contented person feels like the richest of all as his/her needs are limited in comparison to others in society. In this way, he/she never feels any lack of anything whatsoever. He/she remains inwardly satisfied, and that is why he/she never desires more of any outside material things. In fact, he/she really experiences that less is more. Such a person never asks for anything or being; he/she is given the things or beings before he/she asks for the same. He/she feels wealthy in his/her mental and moral disposition. Thus, it is appropriately said, “There is no wealth like contentment.”


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