Why Bother To Aspire To Be Content?


Why Bother To Aspire To Be Content?

Some personalities are more pleasant to be around than others. For instance, being in the company of a contented person is as enjoyable for me as sitting on my deck, in the sunshine, listening to bird song and enjoying the beauty of spring blossoms. Contented people make me smile, I can relax in their company, and after parting, I look forward to seeing them again. Not so with a discontented individual. Like a cold winter rain, being in their presence is anything but comfortable or warming. 

Benefits of Contentment

Contentment is an attitude we can aim toward and when we do, we gain gratitude, peace, satisfaction and a lighter heart. Contentment does not mean we ignore imperfections in ourselves or our circumstances, but the imperfectness we notice does not dominate the landscape of our thinking. Neither is contentment about never improving ourselves or our circumstances. Rather contentment means we find some tranquility and delight in what is offered in the present  moment. 

When I was hired as school teacher in a rural school, I thought I’d use it as a stepping stone, eventually finding a position in a larger school closer to home. But this year, as I started my fourth year in the same school, I decided to no longer think of my position as a stepping stone, but rather as the school where I want to stay. It is by no means the perfect school, but choosing to be content where I am has diminished the things I’d once thought of as imperfections.

Because of the size of the school, there is only one teacher per grade level. I’d always thought I wanted a teammate, another teacher teaching the same grade level as me, so that we could exchange ideas. But, becoming content with where I am has uncovered  the idea that it doesn’t matter that I am the only teacher teaching my grade level. Everyone of the teachers at my school gives me fresh ideas for instruction.

I drive a twenty minute commute to and from work every day and used to think that it was a long and boring drive. Now, choosing to be untroubled with the distance, I find it to be the most tranquil and scenic part of my day. I view eagles flying, mist hovering along green hillsides and a beautiful expanse of a lake. My commute has gone from being an inconvenience to becoming a time of thanksgiving and contemplation. 

Gratitude, peace, satisfaction and a lighter heart are the result of my choice to be content working at a rural school. Contentment also makes me more of an enjoyable person for others to be around. Hopefully, like the spring sunshine and the beauty of colorful blossoms, I can make another person smile, and look forward to seeing me next time.  

Why bother to aspire to be content. Cheeriness is worth it. Who wants to stand alone in the cold rain when it’s more pleasant on the sunny side?  

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