Attitude,  Finances

The Contentment Struggle

Back in my university days, I had a particular dorm mate that was notorious for always borrowing stuff.

There was absolutely no limit to what he would ask for. Personal stuff like briefs, boxers, roll-on deodorants, etc., were not spared!

Interestingly, he was never bothered by the fact that he often gets these items at the lenders’ emotional expense or discomfort.

Sadly, many of us, who were his dorm mates, found it incredibly hard to come out with the blunt, single word of, no. Of course, we were acting the Good Neighbours. We also did not want to hurt his feelings.

Well, what makes it worse is how he sometimes conveniently forgets to return some of the borrowed items.

Indeed, everyone –but himself – knew that he had a big problem.

One time, another dorm mate could no longer contain it. He told the borrower that if he continues, at that rate, he would one day ask to borrow someone’s wife. The borrower did not find the statement the least funny.

Anyway, all that is history.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with borrowing, especially when it is necessary, and of course, if you know you can pay back, as at when due.

However, a lifestyle of borrowing is something that one should worry about. Like my university dorm mate, some people can borrow even the most absurd stuff.

Borrowing is even worse when it involves money.

Except it is extremely necessary, borrowing money is most times a quick fix. It gives the borrower some moments of joy or temporal solution. Sadly, paying back money does not offer that same measure of joy. Instead, it robs the borrower of peace of mind. As someone said, it is easy to get into debt, but much harder to get out of it.

So what makes people develop a lifestyle of needless borrowing?

Well, one factor is the strong desire to impress others. That is, borrowing to impress people with things that we don’t own.

Another factor is the comparison game – or trying to keep up with the Joneses. By this, I mean the habit of comparing oneself with others. Sadly, everyone who plays this game loses.

In addition, some people borrow in order to enjoy a false sense of ownership or accomplishment. In other words, they borrow to create false impressions about themselves. This class of borrowers need to understand that no one has it all together. No one’s life is perfect. Those who seem to have it all could secretly be buried under a pile of debt.

When borrowing becomes compulsive or impulsive, this is an unmistakable sign of a lack of contentment. It is this lack of contentment that drives people to a lifestyle of borrowing.

So how does one stop the habit?

An important way to stop borrowing is to find contentment – or be satisfied, with what you have. Contentment is finding fulfillment and satisfaction in what you have.

So how does one learn the art of contentment?

In order to find contentment, we should learn to walk away from the comparison game. As I said earlier, everyone who plays this comparison game loses. Yet—nearly all of us are willing to play the game.

We should also not fall for the temptation of going out of our way to impress people.

In addition, we should learn to appreciate or be satisfied with what we have. Contentment is a great virtue to have. It is one way to discover inner peace.

So in order to enjoy peace and rest of mind, let us actively pursue and imbibe the contentment mindset. It is one important virtue we all need in this era of fakeness.


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