Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finding Contentment

Young Blood
is a regular column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It's a contributors column from those "twentysomething and below". Naturally, I don't fit in this category, but I do enjoy reading the contemplative thoughts on life from the younger generation.

The column by Aldo T. Lim titled "Comparisons" published last Saturday April 4, 2009 caught my eyes. His rantings talked about two people - Anthony and Aldo - and the admiration of Aldo over what Anthony was, and had. Aldo writes at how much he compares himself with and envies Anthony. Two friends growing up together yet with different paths in life. And no matter how much Aldo compares himself to Anthony, they will never be on the same plane.

Like many of us, we compare ourselves with other people, other lives, others dreams. Strangely, like Aldo, it's only the beautiful and wonderful things in life we desire. The comparisons between having the opportunity to dream of going to Millenium Park in Chicago (for Aldo) and live in the Windy City for awhile (for Anthony) or to as senseless as graduating and spending guiltless time-off after graduation at home for Aldo and in Texas for Anthony or even to as simple as Anthony having a more "privileged" life with Aldo comparing himself to Anthony in terms of having a better MP3, better camera, better job and yup, a better life...

We have our crossroads and inextricably, most of us suffer the fate of Aldo.

There are several parallels in this world though. While Aldo compares himself with Anthony, I am sure Anthony compares himself with someone else. You see, our lives run parallel with someone else's life and it's not a sin to compare. The irony is that we only compare ourselves with what others have and dream of what others have...sad to say out of unconscious envy. Even in the short column, Aldo only desires what Anthony has but never mentions what Anthony does NOT have. We only look for the roses in the field and don't want to have anything to do with the thorns.

My partner in his blogsite ( cited a few lines from Elizabeth Gilbert on "Eat, Pray, Love" and Ms. Gilbert having to deal with Depression and Loneliness as if both were human. Depression confiscating your identity and Loneliness relentlessly interrogating you.

Both Depression and Loneliness are fiends who harass you into losing your best friend Happiness.

Happiness is often the loneliest friend we have in the end because, while Happiness hangs around us joyfully, we miss out on the journey of life because we let Depression and Loneliness take the lead. We forget that it is Happiness who is our best friend in both good and bad times.

Life is never fair. Believe it or not, everyone has their share of Depression and Loneliness. But Happiness will always be around...and we can get rid of the other comparative parallels in our lives if only we learn to find Contentment. Finding Contentment is the real challenge because we get side-tracked by Depression and Loneliness into accepting them as the true companions in Life. While Contentment is visibly in front of us, we prefer not to see him because many of us have difficulty in accepting the companionship of Happiness. Many of us would rather wallow with Depression and Loneliness. It is both Depression and Loneliness that zaps the very core of life we have left in this world. At the end of the day, we feel tired, sad and alone. But Depression and Loneliness will always declare we need them in order to be competitive in this world. Which makes seeking Contentment's help and Happiness' friendship more difficult each day.

I have found Contentment in my journey called Life. Once in awhile, Depression and Loneliness tug at my very soul, but I will not let them take away my best friend Happiness because Contentment is now with me. How about you?

(Photos from

1 comment:

emalin said...

Nice post! Your previous posts po are interesting. :)

I am contented with my life, and for me it's natural to feel depress from time to time(not everyday!) haha... But this contentment does not stop me from achieving more, in fact simplicity and contentment gives me happiness and appreciative of what God has given me.