Our society has instilled in us a certain value on productivity. It has reached a point where we feel shame when we aren’t stressed to the point of breaking down. If we’re not struggling, we’re not doing enough. It’s the reason I feel guilty for sleeping in. It is the reason that some majors are shamed for not being marketable or not leading to a job with a six figure salary. It is the reason that the majority of our population is sleep deprived. It is the reason that so many people start the year with a resolution to be better. This idea thrives in our world because comparison is so readily available. Mediums for comparison are at our finger tips. They are flashed in our face through marketing campaigns and advertisements. You can’t open your phone without comparing your life to those you follow on Instagram and Facebook.
I was thinking the other day about what it means to be content. And I came to the conclusion that; we aren’t. We’re never content. It is such a rarity that it escapes many of our daily lives. In this world of “never enough”, we’ve lost sight of content. Maybe it’s because content seems so far away from most of us. We think that if we just get a better car or a nicer house or a promotion, that then we will be content. But in my self-reflection of defining content, I discovered that content can’t happen in the future. The very nature of content is present tense. Content is saying “There is no place I’d rather be than right here in this moment.” Content involves accepting exactly where you are and realizing that you are happy. When I really thought about content, I discovered that my version of content actually has nothing to do with money or material items, sometimes content can’t even be represented with tangible things. Content, to me, is taking in a view of a place I’ve never seen before. Content is walking down the streets of downtown Columbus. Content is spending time with quality friends, without having having to rush off anywhere. Content is a conversation in which nothing is held back, an expression of real, raw emotion. Content is fresh air or a walk outside. Content is perfection within the imperfection. Content is listening to your latest favorite song. Content is a really good hug. Content is, actually, not that far away. I think we can be content everyday. But maybe we have to try a little bit. I challenge you to find what it is that makes you content. What is it that you have right now that makes you content? Find it. It’s there. But our world can be overwhelmingly scary and dark. So instead of falling into its trap of hopelessness, find your content.