Updated: Mar 17
I had a paradigm shift as I was studying Haitian Creole, a language based on French and West African roots. In Creole the word Kontan = Happiness. This word is closer to the English word content.
What connects these words, content,
And what does that have to do with what is missing?
From the Online Etymology Dictionary (https://www.etymonline.com)
1520s, "good fortune," from happy + -ness. Meaning "pleasant and contented mental state" is from 1590s. "
“happy + -ness. Meaning "pleasant and contented mental state" is from 1590s"
early 15c., "to rest or be satisfied; to give satisfaction to," from Old French contenter (from content (adj.) "satisfied") ..." with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
Sense connection of "contained" and "satisfied" probably is that the contented person's desires are bound by what he or she already has."
(Side Note: Word etymology is fascinating. It gives us the richness of understanding that the word alone does not )
So What is missing? Nothing. Everything is present in contentment.
It is one question that many people get stuck on. I am sure I could create a list of wants and desires, but instead, I will do the very opposite. I have learned the value of contentment. I have a life filled with challenges, triumphs, struggles, and joys. I have lost everything and had a lot. I have been poor and yet more prosperous than most. And in all of this, I have learned the value of being content. So, when asked what is missing? I can say nothing.
Missing something and feeling the loss of something you don't have is the opposite of being content. When our core values are not money, fame, fortune, or prestige, we open a place to be truly rich. Living a life full of experiences, memories, and people is a real treasure. Not things. We are rich when we give back to others by listening, caring, understanding, and supporting them out of an honest heart. We have value, and we are content.
What is missing when my value lies in God's view of me and not man's views? Nothing.
Is there a lot in the bank? Do I live in a mansion on an exotic island? Do I drive that cute I8? I want to spend my energy on something other than pursuing things. Things come and go just like money.
So, my life is rich. I am dependent on God. "Byennere moun ki pran konsyans yo bezwen Bondye," ( Basically = Happy people that know they need God) Matt 5:8. This is based on my learning, experiences, reading, and studying.
Photography has taught me to see the creator even more profoundly. I share the beauty of nature through my work. And I hope to bring joy and peace to any who see my work. My artistic voice is simple; it is not complex.
I teach anyone who wants to learn more about hope and listen to anyone's heart that needs to be heard. This knowledge gives me contentment and hope. I share this knowledge freely.
So, what is missing? Today nothing.
Do I have problems and pains? Sure. We all do. But today, I choose to be content to be happy. Will tomorrow be filled with good or trouble? That is tomorrow's problem. I will deal with it then.
Today I will embrace the good and the struggles together. Do the best I can today and be content.
This week's life lesson is = Everything is present in contentment.
If you feel you are missing something, please find contentment and gratitude. Give to others in ways only you are possible of. Get to know the mind and heart behind the designer of this beautiful place we call home.
Helpful Resources –
· Online Etymology Dictionary (https://www.etymonline.com)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen Covey
The best little 66 books we lovingly call the Holy Scriptures.
Project - My thoughts and Ramblings
A 52-week Introspective Writing Project - Jan 2023
Week 3 - What is Missing? Contentment