“Content people may not HAVE the best of everything but they MAKE the best of everything”
I previously mentioned that the chapter on contentment in the Smart Money, Smart Kids really resonated with me. After hearing about Rachel’s own personal story with her mission trips and gaining perspective from the privilege of the experience, it really made me reflect on my own experience of traveling to Ghana, Africa in May of 2008. My trip was affiliated with a school trip and was not a mission trip, but nonetheless the experience was still very eye opening and literally changed my perspective on life.
“Contentment isn’t a money issue…It’s a heart issue”
In reference to her mission trip to Peru, Rachel quotes:
“I noticed something about the people I met there: They were happy. No, not just happy; they were filled with joy and contentment, even though they probably couldn’t even comprehend all the comforts I took for granted every day”.
While on our trip to Ghana, we would have daily reflections. The idea of contentment among the people was one unique cultural difference that I noticed between Ghanaians and Americans. The people of Ghana were so happy with so little! They were just happy to be able to interact with their people and with us. They were happy without all of the material things that people in the United States seem to value so much, yet take for granted on a daily basis too. Our society is so preoccupied with consuming thinking that material things will make them happy, but at the end of the day they don’t seem satisfied with all of their “stuff”. Nothing is ever “good enough”.
Have you ever heard of the term “Facebook envy”? It is of particular interest to me when we are on the topic of contentment in our society.
Here are a few articles that explain the concept of “Facebook envy” in more detail:
It’s Not Just You: Facebook Envy Makes People Miserable
The Facebook Cute: 5 Ways to Get Rid of Facebook Envy
The topic of contentment and phenomenon such as “Facebook Envy” can be a controversial debate, but I believe it is one that our society needs to address. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but when it is something you cannot afford and are willing to go into debt to impress others, you may have a real problem on your hands.
“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like” – Dave Ramsey
Don’t get me wrong, I use Facebook just as much as the next person, but I really try not get consumed with the whole “envy” aspect. I am able to acknowledge “what you see isn’t always what you get”. That nice new home that was purchased might be causing stress in that household because the payments are too high. That cute new outfit may have been purchased on a store credit card. The brand new car was purchased on a loan that they will be paying interest on for the next five years. The cute shirt that she is wearing in that picture was purchased as part of her “retail therapy” shopping trip that she went on to make herself “feel better” about breaking up with her boyfriend.
I really enjoyed this post The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify In Your Life, from the blog “becoming minimalist”. This is a great list and outline of how to simplify your life and live more contently.
In the book Smart Money, Smart Kids, Dave and Rachel talks about using experience and being intentional with teaching your children about living contently. With the start of a beautiful spring weekend, I want you to contemplate on how you can teach your child how to live contently and take the opportunity to be intentional with the teachable moments. If you have a special story to share on how you addressed contentment with your kids, we would love to hear it!!
Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s new book Smart Money, Smart Kids is releasing on April 22nd. On the Smart Money, Smart Kids website (www.smartmoneysmartkids.com) you can pre-order the book and get more than $50 in FREE extras to help you raise money-smart kids! The pre-order includes a copy of the hard cover book, the audiobook, a video lesson, and the eBook. There is also an option at the bottom of the website homepage that allows you to enter your email address and get the introduction and first 2 chapters emailed to you now!