Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I live in an attic which I had rented a few years ago. Most of the place in my room is acquired by the books. Earlier, I had a box where I kept my collection. As I purchased more and more books, the box got full and I left handling them with care. Now, the books are everywhere: under my cot, in my suitcase, on the table, and in the shoe rack.
Sometimes, in the middle of night, I feel uncomfortable in my bed. I stand up, take off the bed sheet, thump the bed and find books under my mattress. One day, I found a novel of an Indian writer, Jhumpa Lahiri, in my bathroom, under the soap box. Although, I really feel myself as a careless boy, but when I discover the books on unexpected places, it reminds me how much I love reading.
I’ve studied a lot of saints and philosophers and through their words, I’ve made my own values for a better living. Creating values are very important for a man to embrace a peaceful living.
Among these values, I’ve kept simplicity in lifestyle on the top of my list. Simplicity in living is difficult to accept by the modern generation, but the sooner we accept it the better it is.
I heard about a man who owns a construction company and also a well-known personality in the business of real-estate. He is the owner of a gold loan finance company too. He has two big houses near the Marina Beach in Chennai. He roams the city in Mercedes and had booked a new Toyota last week.
He remains busy all day long in making money. He has earned enough money from his profession that his forthcoming generations can get all the materialistic happiness while remaining in their beds.
People admire his money. People envy his lifestyle. Everyone wants to live a life of this man. We can call him as a man who has seen success in his profession.
But, unfortunately, we see what our eyes can see.
If people take a glimpse into his personal life, they will never think of facing him again. This man got two heart-strokes. He is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. His marriage is on the verge of divorce and his son is squandering his money in bottles of liquor, and cigarettes.
Concluding, his life is miserable.
A wise man can understand that simplicity is the only way to live life, and contentment is whole a lot easier than happiness.
It is a misconception that rich people are happy. Every day, we hear of the celebrities who get caught in the rave parties and spent days and nights behind the bars or about their family issues which later ends up in divorce.
I’ve also seen many people who get lured by-products like new cars, fancy bikes, royal food and a supposed better lifestyle which then later leads them to live their lives in a constant state of financial restrictions.
On this, the words of Visvesvaraya, an Indian engineer and scholar, passed my mind: ‘If you buy what you do not need, you will need what you cannot buy.’
A few months ago, I wrote down the words of Dalai Lama on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall beside my bed. Whenever I’m discontent, I read the words again and over again: ‘When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desires can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself: Oh yes, I already have everything that I really need.’
Money does not bring happiness. Nor poverty does. What we need is a balanced life.