The Yoruba Proverb “Ẹni tí kò bá gba èyí tó mi, èyí tẹ́ mi ló máa gbà.” (Whoever will not live in contentment, will end up being disgraced), points to the need to cultivate the virtue of contentment.
This virtue is pertinent because it is known to be desirable, it is preached by all religious group, in social events and even political meeting. Contentment, basically, means to be satisfied with who and what you are, and also what you have. In other words, Contentment entails an attitude of appreciation for the blessing that encompasses you and those around you, no matter the challenges that you face.
Contentment is quite important in a society where greed is an incurable disease that can be contracted if care is not taken. This virtue makes it possible for a man to live within his own means, to also be gratified for what he has and be appreciative of where he is coming from. A content people is likely to thank God for have two cars when he sees people who have none, rather than lambast and complain when he see people flying on their own private jet. Contentment is a perception that propel people to even help those beneath them not envy and pull down those on top down just to get the benefit those at the top are enjoying.
It is a known fact that the lack of contentment by Nigerian people has grounded the Nigerian society in the malady she is presently grappling with. Most Nigerians are guilty of covetousness. This is especially so, when you take cognizance of the fact that most Nigerians what to get thing out of you, and not ready to give to others. Nigerians don’t mind draining you dry if you give them the opportunity.
There is no gain saying that the high level of criminality and lawlessness we witness in the country is as a result of the absence of the virtue of contentment in Nigerian community. Young people wants to get rich as fast as possible, the poor want to attain the status of financial buoyancy by any means possible, even though illegal means. The rich want to acquire more wealth, if it means defrauding the poor who account the majority of the country’s citizenry, the politicians have been accused over and over again of looting monies belonging to the masses of the country. In other words, Nigerians suffer numerous misfortune and underdevelopment because we are deficient in contentment.
Even though contentment is plausible in a society where there is a dearth in the virtue, nevertheless, this virtue or the expression of this virtue should not be an excuse for anyone to embrace stagnancy and mediocrity. Contentment doesn’t make a man satisfied with poverty and wretchedness, it doesn’t not also kill the ambition of a man to achieve his dreams of being comfortable and fulfill.
Nigerians are quick to mock and disdain people who are making effort to make their lives’ situation better. They sometime see them as people who are contending with their divine destiny. While they see their mate making moves to better their lives, some busybodies would rather be on the sidelines watching diligent folks work to make life meaningful for themselves. Contentment does not allow a man to accept the status of a failure. Contentment basically, means to be appreciative of what you have not satisfied with what you are.
God made every human being an insatiable being for a reason. A being who has the ability to seek for a better life not out of desperation but out of a genuine desire. Contentment should not hypnotize the desire of any person to change status, not only financial and material status, but also physical and intellectual status. Our lives should be about beating our previous record.
It is obvious that folks who are not satisfied with their status and status quo are making efforts to become better humans. Most people believe that the domestication of mediocrity is what it means to be content. Some folks are satisfied with their three bedroom apartment they have acquire two, three decades ago, when they have the resource and the time to do more. Some are satisfied with a first degree, when they have all it takes to do more. It is awful to be satisfied in what is a paralyzing fulfillment.
A man’s quest to live a better life does not make such a person desperate to the extent of doing things against the law. This quest drives a man to do everything the right and lawful means to get what he wants out of life. Every law abiding citizen have no choice but to be content in “the right way” nevertheless to seek a better life for himself through legal means.