Dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances. An unfortunate existence to have. For an existence of that sort goes: a public transit passenger looks out through the window to bear witness to disorder and decay; a public transit passenger looks out through the window to bear witness to indifference and distance; a public transit passenger looks at the window to bear witness to insignificance and hollowness. Discontent is much like that.
A life of a reader who has books with no words, a life of a writer who has words but no books; a life of a priest who has credentials but no faith, a life of a worshiper who has faith but no credentials; an artist who has paint yet no canvas, and a canvas which has neither paint nor an artist. Discontent is dreadful.
As humans, we are animate and alive, yet that gives us no advantage or immunity when dealing with ups-and-downs. A tree has periods of growth and decay; a book goes from mint condition to imperfection; our electronics have their prime and then downfall into disuse. Us animate and alive things have no competitive advantage nor immunity from ups-and-downs. But what does differ, for us animate things, is that we are able to experience discontent.
When our relationships are slipping ever more, at a pace comparable to a snail, into disarray and chaos, we are discontent. For we are unable to stop what we deem to be in need of stopping. When our life is messier than an apple orchard after a day of great winds, we are discontent. For we are unable to, in any timely manner, re-arrange and tidy what we deem to be in need of cleaning. When we are faced with more risk than instability, teetering on an edge most dangerous for those who fall, we are discontent. For we are unable to make more stable that which we deem to be in need of stability. That is discontent.
In such circumstances, our happiness with the world will plummet beneath dirt and rock, well into the depths of hell itself. But if we can find in religious text a means to stay well away from the depths of hell, to instead find residing within the welcoming gates of heaven, can we not find for ourselves in the texts of scholars and thinkers some means to avoid the hell that is discontent?
I think not. Unfortunately, yet thankfully, humans are discontent because they always want more, because they never settle for less, because they think highly of themselves. The hell that is discontent becomes insignificant when compared to the hell that is being content. I find great joy in the fact that we humans are discontent.
I understand as thoroughly as light understands a shadow that discontent is not a joyful thing to endure. Much pain and misery is to come from discontent, though no problem that should be. A gift if anything. We humans grow when pain is afoot, we become adaptive and better suited when dissatisfaction and adversity strike. Discontent should not always be viewed in so harsh a light.
Dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances. An unfortunate existence to have, yet littered with insight. For an existence of that sort goes: a public transit passenger looks out through the window to bear witness to disorder and decay, though plans to raise from the ashes a new world; a public transit passenger looks out through the window to bear witness to indifference and distance, though plans a course of action to make familiar and closer; a public transit passenger looks at the window to bear witness to insignificance and hollowness, though plans to make meaning and fulfillment. Discontent is much like that.
Discontent is wonderful.
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