Contentment is the Greatest Happiness in Life

I was running in the park today. After a week-long event in Vietnam, this is the day which I have been waiting for. After the run, I took off my shoes and walked on the patch of grass beside the lake. It has been a while since my feet touched the earth. The feeling was amazing!

I remember when I was in one of my seminars in the countryside. The people in the village was very jealous of us – the people from the city – because we wear nice shoes and clothes. On the other hand, we are very jealous of the people in the village. They live a carefree life.

Life is funny, isn’t it? Those without shoes long for nice shoes, those with nice shoes long to walk without shoes. It reminds me of a story:-

Not too long ago, a beggar found a very old oil lamp and rubbed it. As with any oil lamp (and a good story), what happens when you rubbed the oil lamp? Of course, a genie will appear! And how many wishes will the genie give you? Of course THREE!

When you find an oil lamp in the middle of nowhere, you must always rub it, in case the genie staying in it will fulfill your wishes!

So the man made his first wish to the genie. “You know… I once went to the palace and saw the prince. He is such a handsome man… So strong… Surrounded by beautiful maidens…” “Say no more, my friend!”

There! A palace for your imagination. I would have taken a Chinese palace instead, but then I realised the Chinese will probably not have a genie in the oil lamp

“Puff!” just like that! The man turned into the prince. He was enjoying life. For a moment. Soon the beautiful music, the pretty girls, the delicious food… all become part of the routine. He was bored! And so he called out, “Genie! I need you!”

“Yes My Lord. What is your second wish?”

“I want to be… the sun! The sun is so high and mighty and…” Before he can finish his word (the genie is a busy genie, you see…), “puff!” The beggar turns into the sun! He is so happy. For a moment. From here, he can see the entire planet. He knows everything.

People pay respect to him. He gives life to everything on Earth. He is the Supreme Being. But being THE Supreme Being, he was all alone. No one to talk to. No one to complain to. No one to share his joy with. So he was bored, and who did he call upon? The genie of course!

“Genie… I want to be a mountain. Big and strong like the mountain.”

“Are you sure about that, mate? You only have one wish left and you wish to be a mountain? Not a very wise choice.”

“Yes, I want to be the biggest, tallest mountain there have ever been!”

And “Puff!” The man turned into the biggest mountain there is in the world. People climbed hard to reach his peak. His body gives life to all flora and fauna. Fresh air everywhere. He is so happy! Until one day, a fleet of trucks scaled up the mountain, and start to flatten it bit by bit.

That is when the beggar knows he has made the worst choice of his life. He called upon the genie, but since his three wishes are up, his prayers went unanswered. I guess I don’t need to tell you how the story end.

The tractor slowly kill the hill!

In life, we are always looking across the field and envy the greener grass on the other side. Perhaps what we need to do more often – is to be appreciative of what we have. Waking up healthy, being able to move your arms, legs, and head that in itself is the biggest blessing in disguise. Don’t take things for granted!

The grass might appear to be greener at the other side of the field, but it is not always true