We are becoming an excessive society. What do I mean? I mean...”When will it be enough?” I think back to my grandparents who lived a very simple life. They were happy and content with their two bedroom house, because that’s all they needed. They had a garden, they both enjoyed various hobbies and they spent a lot of time together. Today, we struggle to ever be satisfied. We always want a bigger house, a nicer car, more stuff, more exotic vacations, to be skinnier, to have fewer wrinkles, and the list goes and goes and goes.
Let me share an etiquette rule that might help with this. “A lady and a gentleman are always content with what they have, yet they continuously strive for self improvement and sincere service to others.” Wow. Content. Have we ever felt content? Being content does not mean that we don’t strive for improvement or that we don’t have goals, plans and dreams. It simply means that we do not dwell on what we do not have, but find great joy and peace as we recognize what we do have. This is a literally a skill that can be taught and must be taught to our children if they are every going to be truly happy.
So many of us spend too much time thinking that if we only could get “x” then we would be happy or if “this” would happen we would finally find peace or as soon as I get “that” paid off I will finally be free. People, we have to learn to appreciate today and the moments we are in. Be present. Stop going “over the top” with every idea. Don’t become an extremist with your exercise, your diet, your work, your politics, etc. When you do, the other things in your life, mainly your family, suffer for it. I promise you, they do.
Help your children to be present. Talk often about the things that you appreciate. Let me give you some examples that help our children learn how to find joy in today and to keep wants and wishes in perspective. Allow them to hear you say things like;
- “Wow, would you look at that sky. Let’s pull over so we can just take it all in. How blessed we are to have such a beautiful world.”
- “Oh my, aren’t we so fortunate to have a house with an air conditioner to save us from this hot day.”
- “Isn’t it so wonderful that we don’t have to go to bed hungry. We have so much to be grateful for.”
- “I love spending time with you. There’s nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my children. Thank you.”
Order the small size, offer the best piece to others, leave at least 2 days/nights a week that nothing is on the schedule for anyone, slow down, use moderation and teach your children to be grateful. A lady and a gentleman show grace by being grateful.
Have a great month,