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Service to the needy is service to God!
Quotes on contentment.
Which is real happiness?
What is happiness? What is satisfaction? What is contentment? Though these three terms seems to convey the same meaning, yet in the context of our day to day life, they convey different meanings. If I say, ‘happiness is temporary joy’, would you agree? Just imagine, how long you are happy with a condition or possession or person? You might have toiled for years to possess a motor bike or car! Since banks are now offering personal loans at reasonable interest rates, you may opt to purchase any vehicle which is suitable for your pocket and EMI rates. If you extend the term of loan to ten years, you may end up paying nominal amount to the bank but the interest rate for extended years may cost more! Anyway they will sanction the loan amount based on your salary slip and Income tax return. Now you are in possession of a new vehicle and you will enjoy driving it for few days or a month. This is a sort of happiness! But how long it will last? Once you start paying for your loan and spend on petrol and upkeep of the vehicle, you will come to know that it is a costly affair to maintain a vehicle! So your happiness in this case is not ‘unconditional’. Secondly, when you eat a sumptuous meal, you are satisfied. But that satisfaction is restricted to the time of eating and few minutes more! But contentment is entirely a different quality which will make you happy or peaceful forever! This joy of contentment is entirely different from the happiness derived from a possession!
Mother Teresa said..
Contentment, the great virtue!
Now let us go deep into contentment. For instance, you are a tradesman earning as per the services you render on call. Sometimes, you may earn sufficiently but on some months, due to various prevailing conditions, you are not getting regular calls as before. Naturally your income becomes less. When you are able to treat both as normal and do not bother much about the less income, you possess ‘contentment’ and you can be peaceful and happy irrespective of the amount you earn!
There is another category of rich business man. He earns well by selling his products. But he becomes desolate when his sales come down due to monsoon or other unforeseen circumstances. Even during dull season, his earnings and profit are sufficient to maintain his family and life style. Whereas the tradesman in the previous example cannot make both ends meet when he is not called for work on daily basis! But he was content and hence he was happy. In the case of businessman, he was not content with what he earned and he was always unhappy and restless! Hence, a new definition is given for rich and poor man. Not all those who are rich by virtue of wealth is really rich, if he seeks more and more! On the other hand, a poor man who is content with the gruel he consumes is really rich! The greedy wealthy man is poor in comparison with the daily laborer! But contentment is difficult to cultivate. We usually compare our status with those who are in higher echelons of society. This type of mentality is harmful for our health. You tend to become jealous on looking at his life style and possession and you may secretly develop a grudge at him! If we start comparing who are less fortunate than us, we will never become greedy. On the other hand, we will thank god for our present state which is quiet good enough to lead a comfortable and happy life. If you are compassionate, you would like to help those who are less fortunate. Helping those who are hungry is the best service anyone can render and god will be immensely happy with such service! For feeding those who are in need, we need not differentiate based on his credentials. The only requirement is hunger and it should be appeased generously!
Feeding the hungry!
Feeding the hungry is "Narayana Seva (service to god)
Even now, there are many philanthropic persons or organizations that render ‘feeding the hungry’ as a regular service! Unless one’s hunger is appeased, he will become weaker and he cannot perform any useful task to earn his food. Feeding the poor is appropriately named as “NarayanaSeva” in Sathya Sai Seva organizations! “Narayana is the name of God Vishnu! Why this term is used for feeding the poor? Every person is an embodiment of Divine! Hence all are treated as god and the name Narayana Seva is suitably adopted by them! The service rendered to any person who is in need is really service to god! Today we find people do volunteer service to the powerful and rich in order to gain their appreciation and earn some benefits through them. In Politics, this is more common! But service should be rendered to the poor deserted and downtrodden. Then only it earns the approbation as ‘service to god’. Silent service rendered without any fanfare makes us humble and loving. Unless we are selfless, we cannot perform useful service to society!
Assuaging someone's grief is also service!
Service need not be about material resources. A loving word, to the dejected and depressed, constitutes service. You need not spend money if you are yourself poor. Guide the blind people across main thoroughfares. Remove thorn or glass pieces on walking path. Though it is only a small act, it will cleanse our mind to an extent. When you are free on holidays, visit the nearby hospitals and enquire about the health of the bedridden patients. Converse with them and render whatever help you can perform. They would like you to write letters to their relatives. We can peel fruits and give them. Normally nurses will render only medical assistance. But those patients feel lonely and it will be a boon if some stranger go near their bed and talk with them. It will definitely give them a little peace! Kindness is lacking in the world. People have become more selfish and self-centered. They never care about others or their feelings. In such a situation, though we are strangers, we can definitely reduce their depression and loneliness by sitting with them at least for an hour or half!
When we come out of our home, while commuting to work place, there are several ways by which we can extend a helping hand to the needy! All are children of god. Hence never neglect a needy one! Give him a piece of bread or a blanket to cover during chilly weather! Every little act counts in God’s books!