“Ben Zoma says:
Who is wise?
He who learns from all men, as it is written (Psalm 119:99)
“I have gained understanding from all my teachers.”
Who is mighty?
He who subdues his passions, as it is written (Proverbs 16:32)
“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.”
Who is rich?
He who rejoices in his portion, as it is written (Psalm 128:2)
“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.”
Who is honored?
He that honors his fellow men as it is written (I Samuel 2:30)
“For those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt.””
~ Pirkei Avot
I was reading two different set of quotes from different places. One on the philosophy of ‘contented’ life, mostly from Stoicism from Western philosophy, another from the mystical Eastern philosophy grounded in gratitude and enlightenment.
What I found is that how seemingly un-different they are from each other and how inter-related they are.
I will let you read the quotes and find your own connection and meaning.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~ Epictetus
“Contentment, and indeed usefulness, comes as the infallible result of great acceptances, great humilities—of not trying to make ourselves this or that, but of surrendering ourselves to the fullness of life—of letting life flow through us.” ~ David Grayson
“The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach.” ~ Seneca
“True happiness True happiness is to understand our duties toward God and man; is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ~ Seneca
“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” “Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted. ” – David Steindl-Rast
I have figured out the easiest way to attain enlightenment – to be grateful for the experience that life takes me through… Stop performing, start experiencing.