Having contentment implies being happy with who you are, where you are, and what you have. It demonstrates respect for present-day realities. It involves appreciating what you already have and your current situation. Having contentment does not imply that you have no desires; rather, it simply implies that you are happy with the way things are right now and have faith that things will work out for the best in the future.
Consumerism appears to have undermined the value of contentment in Nigeria. The majority of individuals in society believe that happiness can only be attained once certain goals and aspirations have been achieved. This is uncommon because most people still lack fulfillment even after crossing things off their bucket lists.
Happiness, however, is not based on the accumulation of material goods in a satisfied community. Instead, it comes from being appreciative of the moment. The importance of contentment in Nigerian society will be highlighted in this post.
Importance and significance of contentment in Nigerian society
1. Reduce evils and vices
In our society, one of the main reason why people engage in acts such as money ritual stems from the fact that they are contented with what they have and are not ready to put in the work to achieve that they desire.
The lack of patience and contentment among the youths has led a lot of people to acts such as romance scams where they try to talk a foreigner into sending them money.
There is also a spate of increase in violent acts like robbery, thuggery and corruption all of which stem from the fact that people are not contented with the fruits of their labor and what to take what belongs to someone else.
2. Peace of mind
Peace of mind in general is contentment. We are in a frame of mind that encourages self-improvement. This merely indicates that you are content with your present. It does not preclude you from having ambitions and desires. You can be thankful for your achievements and still wish for a brighter future.
Motivating yourself toward a brighter future will be challenging if you aren’t content with who you have become and all of your past accomplishments. When you are content, you might feel at ease with yourself and your environment. You approach everything with an optimistic outlook. Being content allows you to dream more peacefully rather than making you tired of dreaming.
3. Help to create a distinction between wants and needs
In an economic sense, desires are something you might want but are able to live without. Contrarily, your needs are essential and vital to your survival. If you’re not happy with your life, you may become fixated on accumulating material possessions that you don’t really need.
This can occasionally result in more debt, longer workweeks, larger loans, and a variety of other issues. However, if society’s members are comfortable with their lot in life, they will be able to live happy, healthy lives independent of material goods. Therefore, things with a direct use value would receive limited resources.
4. It inspires simplicity in the public
Members of a contented community are able to distinguish between their wants and necessities. As a result, society’s members are freed from the stress and strain that come with having more and more materialistic stuff. Thus, society promotes simplicity. As a result, society’s citizens will learn how to be content without relying on accumulating more stuff or success.
This is not to say that contentment is the absence of desire; rather, it is the satisfaction of one’s current circumstances while holding out hope for better things.
5. Strong human relationships are fostered
People are continually competing to be the best at everything because society lacks satisfaction. This makes people desire the best things in life, such as larger homes, luxurious cars, well-paying jobs, etc. Although this desire is not terrible, most people fulfill it at the expense of their interpersonal connections.
In order to accomplish this, people frequently work longer hours, which reduces their time with family and friends. Additionally, most people borrow more money to finance their aspirations for materialism. This causes debt levels to rise, which typically leads to stress, despair, bad moods, and other psychological issues that interfere with social interaction.
However, when society cultivates contentment, individuals will be able to distinguish between their needs and wants and devote limited resources to items of high utility. As a result, people will have more time to spend with their loved ones, and psychosocial issues related to consumerism will not arise.
People will be able to accept each other for who they are. A person’s possessions or lack thereof won’t have an impact on relationships, which will flourish spontaneously.
6. It helps to promote happiness
Allowing yourself to be content indicates that you are content with the present. It demonstrates your gratitude for whatever you’ve accomplished, no matter how little or how much. And by accepting that you can wait till you can do something within your means for those things you need or want, you may be pleased with the present.
So even if your wishes haven’t been satiated, you can still be happy. This improves your attitude to life and has a beneficial influence on your neighborhood. And if society is content, there will be a significant ripple effect, resulting in genuine happiness everywhere.
7. Contentment means people are less greedy
Being ambitious is not a problem. It is quite OK to want the best things in life. However, unrestrained greed can result from ambition. Greed is the strong desire to enrich oneself at the expense of others, to put it simply. It’s a negative quality. Some people use dishonest methods, such as internet fraud, theft, simony, hoarding of materials, misappropriation of public finances, and more, to accomplish their goals.
In a culture that values serenity, avarice is frowned upon. People are happy with the things they own and have. People are also aware of their goals and requirements. They are aware that material wealth or professional success are not prerequisites for genuine pleasure. They also respect the mental tranquility that satisfaction offers. These characteristics of a content society make it challenging for greed to flourish.
8. Helps to nurture a healthy lifestyle
You are free from problems that are harmful to your health when you are content. As was mentioned before in this essay, most people finance their lack of contentment by taking on more debt and putting in more labor.
Stress, depression, and other health issues have all been linked to higher debt levels. On the other hand, working long hours has negative consequences for a person’s loved ones as well. However, people will be able to live more healthy and happy lives in a society that is content.
The cultivation of contentment promotes happiness, encourages growth on the inside, and strengthens bonds between people.
Damages from Dissatisfaction
The main causes of discontentment include envy, comparison, restlessness, despair, and violence. Discontentment causes permanent scars on your soul and might occasionally cause irreversible harm to your life.
Lust for money, material pleasure, fame, prestige, and power is the root of discontentment. Rivalry, resentment, greed, covetousness, and jealousy are the outcomes. There is fierce competition everywhere, whether it is in the workplace, the family, or the classroom. Nobody is happy with their current situation. The importance of self-sufficiency has decreased.
Have we ever considered the benefits we receive from these things? Do these emotions or actions serve our interests? If the response is “no,” then why not practice being content?
Being conscious of our sufficiency and realizing that we have enough and are enough leads to contentment. You are liberated from the tug of desire and lust. You have faith in life to provide for your needs at the appropriate time. You feel content with the way things are. Being happy does not prevent you from achieving your goals or derail your mission. It is a position from which to look forward with a calm heart and gratitude for everything that has already happened and will yet happen.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.