Content

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Definitions: (1) satisfied with what one is or has; (2) possessing a mind at ease

Quotes:

I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

— Saint Paul of Tarsus (c. 5 bc-67 ad) Christian Missionary

Contentment, unlike happiness, is not dependent upon our circumstances. It is an inner perspective from which we are aware of the difficulties or problems of our lives without being emotionally controlled by them. — Matthew Flickstein, Journey to the Center

Parable:

Once there was a great king who gazed down from a tall tower upon a gardener who sang as he worked, and the king cried, “Ah, to have a life of no cares! If only I could be that gardener.” And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, “IT SHALL BE SO,” and lo, the king was a gardener singing in the sun. In time the sun grew hot and the gardener stopped singing, and a fine dark cloud brought coolness and then drifted away, and it was hot again and much work remained, and the gardener cried, “Ah, to carry coolness wherever I go and have no care! If only I could be that cloud.” And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, “IT SHALL BE SO,” and lo, the gardener was a cloud drifting across the sky. And the wind blew and the sky grew cold, and the cloud would have liked to go behind the shelter of a hill, but it could only go where the wind took it, and no matter how hard it tried to go this way, the wind took it that way, and above the cloud was the bright sun. “Ah, to fly through wind and be warm and have no cares! If only I could be the sun,” cried the cloud. And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, “IT SHALL BE SO,” and lo, he was the sun. It was very grand to be the sun, and he delighted in the work of sending down rays to warm some things and burn others, but it was like wearing a suit made of fire and he began to bake like bread. Above him the cool stars that were gods were sparkling in safety and serenity and the sun cried, “Ah, to be divine and free from care! If only I could be a god.” And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, “IT SHALL BE SO,” and lo, he was a god, and he was beginning his third century of combat with the Stone Monkey, which had just transformed itself into a monster a hundred thousand feet tall and was wielding a trident made from the triple peaks of Mount Hua, and when he wasn’t dodging blows he could see the peaceful green earth down below him, and the god cried, “Ah, if only I could be a man who was safe and secure and had no cares!” And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, “IT SHALL BE SO,” and lo, he was a king who was gazing down from a tall tower upon a gardener who sang as he worked.

— Barry Hughart (1934 – ) Eight Skilled Gentlemen

Color: green

Fictional Figure: Roger Bontemps, the personification of contentment who was portrayed in a song by Pierre-jean de Béranger (1780-1857). Roger was always hopeful and inclined to make the best of things.