Consider contentment.

The notion of happiness and sadness seems to be two separate emotions however, according to Darling’s philosophy, they are apparently, “the same emotion, separated only by time.” This is something that he has tried to impress upon us, three emotional women in his life, over the years.

It occurred to me that he might well have a point and this realisation came to me on our latest road trip adventure, taking us a fair portion of the length of South Africa, from Johannesburg to Cape Town. 

I believe that contentment is the better emotion to strive for. This encompasses both the happiness and the sadness of life but, in spite of either, it leaves one with something of a warmth of soul and a settling down with the status quo, in a good way.

One of the first Sunday School songs one learns to sing as a child is usually “Jesus loves me, this I know”, followed closely by “This is my story, this is my song”, or something similar. I guess that after The Lord’s Prayer, the next most common Christian song/hymn/psalm is the familiar 23rd: “The Lord’s my Shepherd”. 

The words of that beloved, familiar Psalm 23 made me feel extraordinarily content as the words encompass all the heights (happinesses) and depths (sadnesses) of our fallible human lives.

This human frailty is all the more heightened as we, the human race, contend with the disasters of the global viral pandemic, not the first such plague to sweep across the tiny blue dot that we call home, and certainly won’t be the last.

How we respond to the disaster, from a social, economic, cultural and safety perspective is what will be the making, or breaking, of us all. At the end of it, one thing remains clearer than ever before: death is the surest thing known to mankind. For some, this is a hurdle too large to clear, too frightening to consider and too emotional to discuss.

Having the words of the 23rd Psalm come to mind, made me want to share with those reading this post, who might not be familiar with my Christian faith, that these words are worth reading, now more than ever before, as they provide peace and comfort, along with brand new meaning, in this Covid-climate. 

Consider the fact that whilst we are all lumped together, fighting the same enemy, one that has no regard for race, age, gender, colour, economic standing, creed or status, we are all equally united. That’s a positive slant to a sticky situation. For the first time in human history, let us all do our best to be tolerant, patient and above all else, KIND to one another, it is the least that we can do and will have the overwhelming ripple effect of hopefulness that in turn generates “happiness” which translates to CONTENTMENT.

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