To be content with little is hard…

To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible.Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

We’ll continue today with our theme on contentment and happiness quotes today. Like the previous ones, this quote too talks about how human qualities such as contentment and happiness escape rational boundaries and measurements.

This quote contains quite a beautiful realisation. No matter what you give to a man, he is always hard to satisfy. We always want (or need) more of whatever we have. The difference is when we have little, we can at least be satisfied when we get enough to fill our needs. When you have much, the only thing left is wants, and that is impossible to fill.

We discussed about greener grass on the other side in an earlier post. In that post too, we discussed how it a human tendency to want more things no matter what you have. Even more curiously, we will find that the more someone has of something, the more he will want it.

Haven’t you noticed a person with a low-end or mid-end mobile phone is usually satisfied and is content for months or even years; however, someone with a high-end phone is constantly switching phones. Similarly, someone living in a small apartment is content with the second floor flat and its limited balconies but someone in a bungalow always wants a bigger garden or a second garage. You can see it everywhere clearly once you start looking.

I am not saying tht this is a bad thing; just a very human thing. This is something that drives us to improve and succeed. It seems to be one of those human qualities that are placed for a reason and the world we live, good or bad, is a result of such human qualities. Good or bad: It is purely subjective. Greed, for instance, is usually associated with a negative connotation but one can argue that greed is the thing we talked about when we wanted improvement and innovation. The problem is not greed, but insatiable greed that does not play fair with everyone else.

There is more I could write but I leave it off here; mainly due to the lack of time, but also due to the fact that the quotation is fairly plain and simple and at the same time, profound. That is the beauty of all things simple.

  • Husain Bengali

    Yes, being content with little is relatively easy. But once we start collecting luxuries, our definition of ‘little’ changes. Luxuries become necessities and get included in ‘little’.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, like many other things, it is subjective. But there are some things that fall starkly either in or out of the boundary.Those ideas of necessities hardly ever change.