Lessons from Life: Contentedness Comes from A Kind Heart

Guan Ming

PureInsight | September 5, 2005

[PureInsight.org] There is a Chinese idiom, "A greedy man will try to swallow more than he can chew like a greedy serpent trying to swallow an elephant." Without a contented heart, one will never be satisfied even if he is extremely wealthy. A man without a contented heart will never be truly happy. The material resources in the world are limited, but man's desire for wealth is unlimited. To live in true joy and happiness, one must moderate one's desires and cultivate kindness at heart.

Many people envy billionaires and long to become billionaires, but few people know that without a kind heart, a billionaire will not attain happiness or joy just because he is richer than many people. A friend of mine is a nurse at a hospital in Singapore. She told me that one of the wealthiest men in Indonesia checks in to the wing of the hospital she works in every year. He is as rich as a king, but his repeated hospitalizations have nothing to do with his physical health. He checks himself into the hospital to flee from his wives and children who constantly demand money from him. According to the man, he has six wives and concubines, but none of them loves him, except his second wife who is a Christian. All other wives and concubines are only interested in his money and property. He longs to live with his second wife, but his first wife won't allow it. He has over 80 children and grandchildren. When he checks into the hospital, his children and grandchildren flock to the hospital and line up to see him. But he is disappointed to know that all of them only come to see him in order to get a piece of his wealth. None of them has any concern for his health. He often takes sleeping pills to numb his feelings. He is a very lonely man and he does not feel happy at all.

A materialistic life brings us only brief happiness, but a kind heart will give us a happy life. Not everyone understands that the value of life lies not in taking, but in giving. In one's life, fame, self-interest and wealth are external and one can never be fully satisfied even if one pursues them at all times. Kindness is internal wealth. It is like a ray of sunshine that brightens our world and people around us. Kindness is true love, affection and the beautiful feeling for the mankind. Kindness will give us a wonderful life. Kindness is like water. It nourishes a dry and thirsty heart. A kindhearted man does not treat everyone like an enemy. A kindhearted person is bound to be contented. He will not be bothered or manipulated by all kinds of troubles and conflicts. True joy and happiness reside in his heart.

Lao Zi, an ancient Chinese philosopher, wrote in The Book of Tao and Virtue (道德經), "A contented man has everything." It means that a contented man will be happy with what he has. A kindhearted man might not have wealth, a property, a car or a large amount of savings, but kindness will make him a contented and happy person.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/5/11/32299.html

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