Thursday, June 07, 2007

Contentment & Happiness

Met BL yesterday for an afternoon tea-break at our usual haunt. Had an interesting conversation, about - Contentment.

Haha.. yeah, it's really quite funny, given the fact that most our usual topics range from : recent (horror/gore/paranormal/"ain't no man!") movies or shows we watched; updating each other (well..ok. it's gossiping) about our mutual friends' recent 'mishaps' or 'adventures'; poking fun at the government's latest policies (this is getting to be one of our favorite topics, actually).

So, how did we come to discuss about such a... serious topic?

Well, it actually started from our usual grips and complaints about the rising costs of living in sunny Singapore (that, in itself is an UNDERSTATEMENT. the costs are just 'rising'. they're virtually flying off the charts ala Neo in the Matrix! ).

With salaries increasing (or not) at a pathetic 2-3% a year on average, look at how much the costs are rising. Every other day, we are bombarded about rising costs of:

1) public transport (need to increase the fat pockets of the shareholders of the transport companies mah! )

2) coffee/tea (need to compensate for the increased cost of milk powder and what-have-you mah!)

3) duck/eggs/vegies... (heck! something is bound to be "poisoned" somewhere in the world, leading to supposed shortage in supplies, resulting in distributors increasing cost, ending up with poor consumers suffering a 10-20% increase in price due to the "padding effect" )


And to top it all, we have also got to endure an OVERALL PRICE INCREASE of everything we buy, in the form of:

1) GST - going up by another 2% come July

2) NETS - probably leading to increased prices for all goods payable via Nets.

So, what does all these have to do with "contentment"?

Well, we both know of people who earn <$1k a month, and still manages to have a family of 4-5 kids! Simply amazing... when we think of the cost of bringing up a kid, having to cater to their education, meals, spendings..etc..

So, rather ironically, while we (middle-income folks) gripe about struggling to cope with the high and ever-increasing costs of living, there are people around us who seem to be coping just fine with, apparently, so much less....

And even more amazingly (to us, at least), some of these folks appear happier than us in their daily lives!

We figured that all that has got to do with "Contentment" = how one chooses to live, and how one chooses to feel and believe.

If we are always chasing after material things, it's really hard to find contentment because there's always SOMETHING which someone else owns that you don't. Be it that nice condo/house, or luxurious car, or even a designer wallet/bag.
But once (or IF) we are able to feel happy about what we already have, and truly believe that we are living a life we want and deserve, then we'll find contentment.

Happiness is only a step away. :)


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