Revisiting a post from 2012…These words still hold true today, and I have yet to learn these lessons.
Yesterday, I caught the tail end of a NatGeo show depicting people living in extreme conditions around the planet. I only saw the last two dramas, the final one being a showcase of the Kombai tree people in Papua, New Guinea.
They are the only tribal people left in the world to live in the the canopies of trees.
They use only primitive tools to fell the trees. Neighbors come to help build the new homestead. Everyone works…hard!
When it’s completed, the tribe members carry all their worldly goods plus animals to their new place, high above the earth, where a fire is lit and they settle in.
At the end of the show, the leader is talking to the camera(man), looking out over the view. He is near tears as he looks out from this new vantage point. He says, “Look at this view. Who could want for more?” After a moment of inner reflection, he quietly says, “I am…content.”
I kept rewinding those last few moments. This seemed so alien to me, to be so content; to not want for more. I glanced around at all the “trappings” in my life and admit, I still can’t say those words.
A short while after it finished, my son, Damien (19) came home and I was telling him about this show. He has a way of raising his eyebrows when thinking deeply about something, and when I saw this, I knew I’d struck a chord. He did exactly what I did- looked around, pointed to his Itouch, said, ‘I have this,‘ computer, ‘and this’, cell phone, ‘and this,’ Tom Brady jersey, ‘and this.….And I’M STILL NOT CONTENT!‘
I haven’t decided if we are unhappy, dissatisfied, malcontents or bad Christians…or are we just being honest as to the kind of people we really are and the conditions we find ourselves in.
Some people have a marker in their heads that say something like: When I make [X] amount of money- I will have made it, or when I lose [X] amount of weight – I will finally be happy with myself, or when I land that next deal, take that next trip, buy that new gadget, afford that next (?) whatever –I will have arrived.
I think of that little tribal man with wonder and hope that I, too, may one day be able to say, “I am content,” and mean it.
I will be adding this to my Life List and ponder it much this upcoming year. Maybe by next New Year’s Eve, I will be able to utter those same words. I have 365 days left to arrive.