I received an email from a friend today, and in it there was a wonderful quote, "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have." I love this concept.
So often people find themselves striving to get the best home, the best car, the best laptop, the best schools for the education of their children, the best clothes and so on. In striving to constantly have the best, they are creating an undercurrent of deep stress in their lives. This undercurrent doesn't just exist within themselves, it also ripples outward to others around them who can feel the judgement and contempt that comes from these people who are, whether or not they are aware of it, looking down their noses at others. This then makes people around them feel like trash, if only for a moment before they say, "Hey! Chuck off and stop projecting your expectations onto me!" The undercurrent of stress will also, eventually, create illness within them. This could very easily be avoided.
I have found that the happiest people are the ones who live simple lives. They don't have a lot of things, but they have a lot of love for others and for life itself. Furthermore, they don't allow themselves to be seduced by the materialism of the world around them. They are able to appreciate the beauty of that which is in their environment and not worry about making anything something that it is not. These are the people that I trust. I know that they don't and won't judge me for having or for not having anything. We can relate to each other as human beings and on a deep heart level. This allows us to truly connect in meaningful ways.
In a culture that is media possessed and weight obsessed, it is refreshing to connect with people who don't care if I own an ipod or a laptop, who don't care about the size of my bank account, who don't even notice what kind of car I drive (I like it, but simply can't define myself by it). What these people appreciate about me is easy. It is stuff like my smile and the fact that I like to connect with stones and trees and animals. They are the people who see that I am a good father and that I love life.
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone in the world used this criteria as a way of seeing people for who they truly are?