Contentment comes from deep within. That fact cannot be disputed. It comes, too, from how well you handle the projections you send into your future for yourself. When you are contented, the frequency at which you resonate becomes consistent with the rhythm of the greater universe. In that instance – in those cases – you need do nothing but experience the bliss that comes with understanding that we really are in charge – in control – of our own happiness. Trusting is a vital component of happiness and happiness is a vital component of contentment.
Contentment does not arrive on your doorstep unannounced. It has quite rigorous conditions for its existence and is not one of those things that happens without warning. The warnings are the hardships faced along the way to contentment. When you look at your difficulties in that light, you can feel relieved because the challenges you face daily become affirmations of better times to come. They assert that the future we require, the one in which we all have a say, is on its way. There is no happier thought than that, no better outcome. That is why we work towards contentment.
Contentment has quite a few components that contribute to its achievement. Peace, naturally, is one such aspect. Happiness, is another. There are methods for getting contented. You cannot simply step into its space, it is not a one-size-fits-all feature readily available. It requires the near-perfect balance of your person, and that level of accuracy requires a plan. You cannot reach near-balance without one. And you cannot reach contentment without a plan-ful of balanced aspects.
An important initial distinction to make is the difference between confidence and esteem. They are not the same thing. ‘No confidence’ suggests that there is a courage lacking in a person’s actions, a lack of belief in what a person is capable of doing – and by rights – should do, but doesn’t. Confidence – understandably – is the currency of politics, of scam-artists and esteemed liars. Also, it is the medium used by those who are certain about what what they want, and know that they can achieve it. Confidence is not arrogance, that is another story in itself.
Esteem is more personal, perhaps more fragile than confidence itself, is. Esteem is what affords an individual success, real success. This is because it is authentic – it cannot be manufactured or conjured up at will. In other words, it is a purely natural state of being. Esteem exists where a person is familiar with themselves and their purpose, and both the knowledge thereof – and the understanding – fills them with peace. That peace cannot be bought at any cost. Confidence is at times no more than a means to an end. Esteem has more integrity.
No confidence usually stems from a dented ego. Or damaged pride. This can be repaired in due course with the correct ministrations. Low self-esteem happens to persons who are failing in their focus, their purpose. It is not possible to have high self-esteem when you are not in a position to fulfil your reason(s) for being. If you consider that three quarters of this planet’s populace cannot currently fulfil their true reason(s) for being, you will understand why this earth is in the dire straights that it is.
What does it mean to be ‘equal’? Equal how? Equal to what? When the statement was made that all men are created equal, which equality was being referenced? Was it the more ethereal ‘energy’ we share as human beings, that equality, or was it the notion that each embryo is created with as much future potential as any other? Or was the statement itself a demonstration of inequality because it references men, only? Perhaps all men are created equal. All women are not. That is clear at the outset. Equality is a tricky word. It holds too much promise for too many people who will never get to be ‘equal’ in today’s world. Sadly there are those people.
Equality is about fairness. Balance. Wherever there is an imbalance, there will be discord. The system does not handle discord well. Nor does it create equals. The very system discourages equality, equals. The system is about working your way to the top, surpassing others. It would seem that in the greedy world of capitalists, being equal is never enough. There is the compulsion to be better, to earn more, to have more. To outshine your peers. It becomes an obsession for many people. Perhaps those at the top of the capitalist ladder do have ‘equals’. Perhaps they consider themselves ‘equal’ to people who earn the same as they do. That is perhaps their measure in life.
It is worth fostering equality as an ideal. I think it is an ideal. It is something to strive towards, like peace. Equality is a work in progress. Should it become the norm rather than the exception in the long run, that can be considered an ideal outcome. The child who cannot read or write is not equal, in 2014, to the child who can. The child with access to technology is not equal to the child that does not. This is how it is in our world. Despite the ever-present inequalities, though, and the concerns that these inequalities raise, it is not to say that the ‘unequal’ cannot reach the heights that the ‘equal’ tend to reach. They must just apply themselves to working with what they have and trust that it is enough.
The good news is that the world of humans is not changing too fast for Nature to evolve alongside it. Nature is way ahead of the humans. The humans are merely speeding up the rate of extinction on this planet – their own, included. For Nature – that is very good news. As soon as the humans are gone, this world will be at peace with itself. It will exist without labelling, without cruelty, without greed, without division, without hatred. Nature will go back to its vast drawing board, as it always does, and in due course it will come up with something even more spectacular than human beings. It is a pity that there will be no humans left to appreciate the display. But humans do not appreciate what they have already and theirs’ is the destructive ignorance. The stupidity. That there will be no back-slapping on Earth in the coming ages is perhaps something to look forward to. The humans have always been too busy claiming accolades that are not theirs’ to claim and undoubtedly should Nature deliver another round of ‘miracles’ or ‘universal magic’ or whatever you want to call it, if they were around, the humans would somehow imagine themselves responsible for the majestic feat. They are that arrogant.
Humans are incidental. They are dispensable. All of them. They are not necessary for the survival of this planet. What is valuable about a human being, interesting, is its intelligence – preferably when it is being used. Intelligence does not die. It lives on, in itself. It has its very own ecosystem, if you like. Intelligence transcends death, its reach is beyond the grave. Like a great many other things that are going to start causing problems for the humans on this planet. Know that it is possible to be intelligent without an education, but an education does help a great many people access their intelligence.
The good news is that about 5% of the population of this planet can save the environment with their cash. They could extend the planet’s longevity this way, greatly improve their standing. They have no standing simply because of their wealth, understand that. It is what you do with your money when you have it that speaks for who you are, and who you are – in this world – is what is measured. These people have to want to use their money to benefit something or someone other than themselves, though, and sadly not many of them seem to want to do that. They are short-sighted. Selfish. They exist in a colossal vacuum, which is ultimately to their huge detriment. Did no one hear that the only honourable pursuit for a thinking person is the lifting of mankind from the gutter? Raise mankind above man. There is nothing honourable about sitting in an ivory tower watching mankind flailing around on the ground like a fish out of water.
Would you expect peace in Utopia? Would you assume it to be a wholly peaceful place? I think it is better never to assume anything, no matter how well you may have convinced yourself that you know what is best in a particular situation. There is always someone who knows better than you do. I have learnt that lesson in life and I trust its consistency. The trick is to find that person. Does Utopia – or Elysium, Heaven, a harem of 1000 virgins, Paradise, etc – exist for you? Even just in your dreams? Does it mean to you perfect, or does it mean ideal? You need to define these things for yourself before you can set about finding yours. That yours is the same as mine – or the next person’s – is a possibility, but this is doubtful in a world this self sufficient. We each have a private ideal, a personal state of perfection that we (ought) to be striving towards. It depends on how you view perfection as to how your Utopian odyssey will unfold. Your journey is ongoing, you will find yourself there, in time. It just takes time.
The way to peace is to educate. Ask Malala Yousafzai, support her cause with $10 a month if you do not yet do anything for your world. What is $10 worth in your world? Encourage your children to support a worthy cause – let them learn the value of compassion. Teach them that it is important to give something back when you have more than others do and teach them this through your example. It is more and more apparent in these everydays that our children are very capable of understanding the meaning behind an action, a behaviour – i.e. a motivation. Do not take from them this facility. Nourish it, them. Let them learn empathy, through affection. It will get them far in life.
In pursuit of peace (and quiet) it is your responsibility as an adult to demonstrate your true nature in front of children. They see straight through an act and besides, they learn assertion. Let them read your truth because this is how you show a child respect for their time. Their assessment. Letting them know your weaknesses as well as your strengths is not a failure, it is a clued-up move. Apologise when you shout, curse. Explain if you cry. If you curse under your breath, that counts. Saying sorry says hey – it is human to make mistakes. Life is dramatic – there is no getting away from that reality. If you think it is not then you need to open your eyes and notice for once (in a very long while) its colour. Colour brings pain, mind you. Moderate that pain. It is vital for children to realise through your demonstration the real of this world we live in. It is an exercise in strengthening, stretching their emotional intelligence. Please recognise a child’s emotional intelligence when you spot it. The more equipped children are to handle themselves (in any situation that presents itself), the more stable their end life-view is going to be. Children do not think in infinities. They need an end view that is stable – whatever that stability entails. Theirs’ can be surprisingly flexible, their stability – it depends what keeps them happy. Children have extraordinary capacity and they will instinctively stretch themselves. Let them. What is necessary to know is that it is essential that a child develops a life-view that perpetually fires up new synapses with excitement. Children should laugh a lot and they should be shown a great deal in their lives, as well as a good example. If you cannot show them a good example – you will need to trust that your child will role-model on the dominant adult in the vicinity who sets best that example. An example. If you cannot trust that your child will know right from wrong, then you have a problem.
And if you do not know who Malala Yousafzai is, perhaps you should. She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize one day.
This world did not get to where it is by swapping recipes or dancing hand-in-hand around the maypole. There are forces at war in every day, every country, every man. The sooner people realise that Shiva is alive and well, the better. What does war mean in 2013? It does not mean the same as war in 1939. No. It does not mean the same as Hiroshima. Nagasaki. War in 2013 means suggesting to aggressors that theirs’ is not a wise tack to take. Is it not an act of humanity, striking against what is wrong? There is not one American, or one British person, or in fact any educated person on this planet that would accept their entire town or city being murdered in their sleep by the government. Not one. Why should the Syrians stand for it? Who are they supposed to ask for help, if not the West? That puts the West in an awkward position. Do you pretend that what happened – is happening – in the Middle East is acceptable? Or do you condemn the massacre of innocent civilians with force? It depends on what language the murderers understand. If President Obama strikes against Syria, remember that he is not trying to take over the world. He is not doing a Hitler. He is authorising his military to protect the people of Syria. That this action would have widespread ramifications is clearly understood. I think everybody understands that it is not just Syria and America in the picture here. There will be retaliation and others will be drawn into the fray. Does that count as collateral damage? I wonder.
Let us not pretend there has ever been peace on this planet. There never has. What can we do about that? We can work towards it – the same way generations before us have been working towards it. It would seem that there is a permanent hitch with Israel and Palestine. They love this war-business. They should accept that their protracted battle over a piece of the EARTH is the work of fanaticism. It is holy land? Well then stop warring on it, over it. Respect its holiness. Give the Palestinians a place to become who they are, please Israel. Show your bigger heart. It means a dent to your pride, perhaps, but that is not the worst thing in the world. The amount of hatred directed at the Jews – for whatever reason anti-semites hate Jews these days – builds for them their fate. Do you not realise that hate rolls around, and around, and around? Someone, somewhere has to give ground. I don’t see where the Palestinians can go if Israel takes the land from under their feet. Must they now wander in the desert for 40 years? China, also, should stop stealing borders. They do not own the planet, they should be a lot more respectful towards it.
You cannot say that bombing Syria is like killing Syrians to stop Syrians killing Syrians. That is not what happened – is happening. That is overly simplistic and it is rubbish, besides. Is bombing Syria perhaps a necessary protest, a stepping-stone in the bigger picture? Think about it. When do you stand up and say no? When enough, is enough. Where is humanity if the Syrian government can kill its people with impunity whilst the rest of the world stands by and watches? I wonder.
You create your own limitations. Break with your tradition of thinking and remove the worn out ideas – your core ‘staple’ thoughts – to free up space for a new world-view. It is time. There is not time any longer for being overly precious about your angers and your hatreds – you must see each one, face to face, and then let it fly. It is time to let go of your toxic thoughts. Write them on paper and set fire to them. It is cathartic watching the flames. I suggest you do not get too sentimental about your letting go, either. Clean up your head willingly, it can only help you. Your thoughts contain your future, they are the building blocks of your existence. Make them strong. Positive. And think big. Dream of a world where there is more peace and tolerance, more respect and goodwill, compassion. Expect that world to materialise. But first – remove the boundaries you set for yourself by addressing your own negatives. When you can look at your negative behaviours and your destructive behaviours and understand why there are times when you act (seemingly) to sabotage your own life, then you will find yourself closer to knowing just who you are and how powerful your nature is. Your nature is essentially what you are. What you are is not the same as who you are. You must know both. That is why being natural is important. It shows respect for your beginnings. If you cannot be easy in your natural state you are missing out, it is a peace like none other.
This world has a self-consciousness that needs exploring. Perhaps there are too many mirrors? Perhaps it matters too much in some places how you present yourself to the planet. But in these places where picture-perfect matters the people can be left to themselves, they are all aspiring to be the same object – so they become one and the same and no one needs to worry. Narcissus looked first to himself and last, at himself. When you have a mindset that understands shopping for a living, celebrity-worshipping and very little else it is harmless in the larger scheme of things. These people do not contribute to our days. Their attention is focussed elsewhere and their heads are empty. In fact their free space is legendary. It is when these people speak shit that we have a problem. Their thoughts are very easy to deflect but their words cause a nuisance. There are too many ignorant people speaking hatred with authority and that is a problem in our western world. How many people these days read more than the daily tabloid? You cannot get anywhere in life by reading the tabloids. Please. Fill your head with relevant facts. Who this woman is who slept with 30 men in her quest for fame is not a relevant fact. Lazy people do not bother to read about the state of their own futures in the hands of the dodgy politicians they put in power – either through voting, or NOT voting. There is no excuse for not voting. None. Lazy people do not bother to read about what state their world is in, how their natural world is shrinking. There is no time for laziness in our current climate. We need to make a statement against the way things are. We do not do that by avoiding taking responsibility. We all become informed – even one new piece of information each day. That way – you are growing your awareness and you are forming opinions. It is natural. You will have an opinion one way or another on this thing, that thing. It is interesting hearing your own opinions. You must feel how it feels to believe something. You will know how it feels. There is a power behind your idea, your ideas. You cannot pretend to yourself to believe something. And don’t worry about believing everything you read – you won’t. You have discernment and you are equipped to use it. Check your sources and find reliable facts with which to build your understanding of what is happening to our world. Trust your opinions but do not force them on other people. Suggesting is always better. Put your opinions up against the opinions of others and see how your thinking measures up. Together we can find a way to make the people who hold power, listen. It is all in the way you ask them to hear you. You cannot be unresponsive to an appeal made in earnest, with pure motivation. It would be to go against the spirit of living and violate our right of abode as citizens of Earth.
This world needs to recognise that limitations are impractical. If you can conceive of not succeeding then you have the wrong goal. What is the point wasting time on following to conclusion something that you, yourself, do not believe in? To have doubts is natural, healthy, it keeps you from complacency. But do not consider failure before you consider success. Then you will fail. You have to be able to stretch your perception to include the possibility that you have everything you need to get you to your best. Who you are – at this exact moment in time – is enough. Trust your experiences – always. Trust your innocence – always. If you manage your life effectively you will find that you develop your innocence rather than allow it to be lost. You feed your innocence and learn from experience. It is easy. Trust your inner child for guidance. It knows what to do. If you have not yet made the acquaintance of your inner child you ought to make your introductions, soon. Your inner child uses pure motivation. You can learn a lot from watching its decision-making.
How do you forgive the guy who sells you fake tickets for a Justin Bieber concert in Johannesburg? After explaining to the children who arrive at the turnstile after a two hour wait – children whose ages range from 6 to 11 – that mommy somehow bought rubbish tickets from a con-man, you must stand outside with the children and watch everyone around you go into the stadium. What do you say to the broken smile of each child? That kind of cruelty to children cannot be forgiven. Not in any hurry. How senseless a human being do you have to be to know (and care less) that you are selling a non-experience to a child with stars in their eyes? It’s shocking. It is an outrage that people do such things in the name of money. Worse still, selling fake tickets for a meet-and-greet. Conscienceless. These people with no scruples should be named, and shamed. Then prosecuted. One by one.
Forgiveness is tricky at the best of times. I often wonder who we think we are that we give out forgiveness like God’s blessings bestowed. If someone has wronged you, I suppose it is your right to decide whether or not they deserve to be forgiven, but be careful that you are sure what is wrong and what is not. In this age I think it’s the feeling of forgiving that is wrong. I think too often we go about it in a self-righteous manner and self-righteousness is a dangerous game for anyone to play. Do not hand out forgiveness like alms. Be aware that it is serious – if you choose to forgive (which is advisable for your own peace of mind) then you must know you mean it. True forgiveness comes where you can coerce your heart into complying with your mind. If your heart cannot let go of a hurt, you cannot forgive. It is simple.
Forgive where you can. Remember it is destructive to hold on to a hurt for too long. The hurt stagnates, it becomes boring to think about and its persistent nag is a drain on your energy resources. Get over it. People hurt each other. That is what they do. Expect people to be unpredictable, perhaps thoughtless on occasion. Expect disappointment. We are all learning, that is important to remember, too. How can we get the best from one another if we aren’t allowed to make mistakes with our handling of each other along the way?