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This month I would like to focus on ‘contentment’.

These song lyrics say it all: it’s not about having what you want but wanting what you have.  Pretty simple right – but think about it…in our world today we are advertised to more and more, marketing to our desires and wants – not necessarily our needs which  are pretty basic. Yet it is too easy to get caught up in emotions created by ads.

Being the youngest of ten children, we had a real appreciation for things and I am forever grateful for the many lessons that came from my big family upbringing.  We all knew we were loved and our needs were taken care of.

Contentment is a peace that comes in when you’ve realized it’s not about things but the joy of living in the present moment and embracing it.

Anyone that lives the “someday philosophy” are missing out on life.   I firmly believe the more people are given without any effort, the more they will come to expect and it will be hard for them to ever understand contentment since they have never longed for something.  They have “no skin in the game” so to speak.  Thus, developing a sense of entitlement for all these ‘wants’.

Again, our needs are pretty basic but ‘wants’…well, society makes us feel like outcasts if we don’t have the latest this or that, fashion is all about the current styles and so on.  Which is all well and fine but to what degree should it impact us?

I’ll pick on teens for a moment, since I have one.  Without question, their needs are not the same, right? Wrong, just different priorities.  In their eyes, life’s necessities include: a phone, make that a camera phone of course, unlimited texting, computers, I-Pods, computers, etc. hmmm.  Are they more content?  Are they better communicators because of these devices?  Hardly.  But it’s the way of our world and advertising exploits even the very young.

Did you know that half of McDonald’s total revenue comes from the sale of the Kids Meals with the toy surprise inside.

Perhaps this recession will bring us back to the basics.  I know things are tight and there are many families dealing with hardships, some emotional, some physical and some financial.  At these times, focus on what you HAVE and not what you DON’T HAVE.  Even in the toughest times, it’s important to realize there will always be someone better off and someone worse off than you.

For me, this reminds me to count my blessings and be content.  It also empowers me to be strong and reach out with a smile, a hand or gesture to help another.  When you do that – you are rich in a whole new way!    May you be enriched as you realize your blessings and find contentment this holiday season and beyond.

Be Strong *  Be Well

Until next month… TCOY!
Lucy

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