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From: Aileen Chang
Subject: Fwd: Contentment (A Must Read!!!!)
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 20:39:27 PDT
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I wonder if any of you ever have the feeling that life is bad, real bad, and you wish you were in another situation. I admit I did pretty often. I find life make things difficult for me, work sucks, life sucks, everything seems to go wrong...it was not until yesterday that I totally changed my views about life.
After a conversation with one of my friends, he told me despite taking 2 jobs, he brings back barely above 1K per month, he is happy as he is. I wonder how he can be as happy as he is considering he has to skimp his life with the low pay to support a pair of old parents, in-laws, a wife, 2 daughters and the many bills of a household.
He explained that it was through one incident that he saw in India...that happened a few years ago when he was really feeling low and touring India after a major setback. He said that right in front of his very eyes, he saw an Indian mother chop off her child's right hand with a chopper. The helplessness in the mother's eyes, the scream of pain! from the innocent 4 year old child haunted him until today. You may ask why did the mother do so, has the child been naughty, has the child's hand been infected?? No, it was done for two simple words - - - TO BEG! The desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child can go out to the streets to beg. I cannot accept how this could happen, but it really did, just in another part of the world which I don't see.
Taken aback by the scene, he dropped a piece of bread he was eating half-way. And almost instantly, a flock of 5 or 6 children swamped towards this small piece of bread which was covered with sand, robbing bits from one another. The natural reaction of hunger.
Stricken by the happenings, he instructed his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery. He arrived at two bakeries and bought every single loaf of bread he found in the bakeries. The owner was dumbfounded but willingly sold everything. He spent less than $100 to obtain about 400 loaves of bread (this is less than $0.25 per loaf) and spent another $100 to get daily necessities. Off he went in the truck full of bread into the streets. As he distributed the bread and necessities to the children (mostly handicapped) and a few adults, he received cheers and bows from these unfortunate. For the first time in his life he wondered how people can give up their dignity for a loaf of bread which cost less than $0.25.
He began to ask himself how fortunate he is. How fortunate he is to be able to have a complete body, have a job, have a family, have the chance to complain what food is nice and what isn't, have the chance to be clothed, have the many things that these people in front of him are deprived of... Now I begin to think and feel it, too! Was my life really that bad?
Perhaps...no I should not feel bad at all...What about you? Maybe the next time you think you are, think about the child who lost one hand to beg on the streets.
"Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, it is the realization of how much you already have."
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