The Case for Contentment

pt. 1

Morning had just broken that Tuesday. I balled my right hand as I wiped the crust from my eyes like a little child, made my bed, and headed downstairs. It was quiet, as mornings usually are in our house. This quietness gave me the chance to savour the sight of the rising sun, which had not yet risen in full strength and so was merciful.

I finished morning prayer, as I usually did, to learn a little more about this Word made flesh who entered my life and changed it completely. My feet swiftly left the couch and my toes curled together when they came in contact with the cold floor, as I tiptoed my way to the bathroom. In true millennial fashion, my phone came along.

I was seated when I read the message. This message whose kind I had never received before. I let out the sort of laughter that signified a disbelieving surprise. I read it again just to be sure that I had seen what I had seen.

He said he would go straight to the point. He said he would like me to be his sugar baby. He said no sexual relationship or nudity would be involved. He said we could negotiate weekly allowances. He said he was sorry if his message “pissed me off.”

I said I was not interested. I said I was not interested. I said I was not interested.

He asked what he could do to impress me. I said, “Here’s the thing: I am completely content with my life. My reasons for entering a relationship with a person has never been and will never be material. So, to answer your question, there is nothing you can do to impress me.”

He said that he was looking for a long-term relationship that could lead to marriage.

pt. 2

My friend would be moving to a new city in a few days and so we thought we would hang out and catch up before the move. We met at a coffee shop downtown where the overlapping chatter and laughter, the saxophonist playing on the Row, and tourists and Islanders documenting their memories made the space come alive. I drank an iced tea sans ice and watched as my recyclable straw slowly mopped up my tea.

After the “how are yous” came our conversations which ranged from our generation’s capacity for a revolution to the place of the sacred in modern life to my conceptualization of the Western world (excluding Europe due to its history, which is distinct from the Americas although connected) to social media in the age of climate change.

Tuesday’s proposition also came up. After reading the message, he determined that the writer was a swindler whose intent was to defraud me, and said that it was good that I responded in the in which manner I responded.

pt. 3

First came the pride in myself about how I responded. Then came the annoyance. How else was I to respond? I simply did what I was raised to do.

Contentment is not complacency. Contentment is not mediocrity. Contentment is not settling for less. Contentment is not being satisfied with being average. Contentment is not thinking that the keys to a better life lie in the hands of another.

Contentment is seeing the distance between where we are and where we want to be and being joyful as we make our way there. Contentment is doing what we can today and letting Him handle what we cannot. Contentment is longing for more while being constrained by the certainty that we will get more and be more in time. Contentment is a defence.

Contentment is the guardian that ensures that we do not taint and tarnish our dignity before we arrive at the inevitable mountaintop.

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