To be content is to accept the conditions of life, good or bad. You don’t have money, so you accustom yourself to eating tuna fish from a can. You don’t have a car, so you accustom yourself to taking the bus. You don’t have a job, so you accustom yourself to receiving food stamps.

To be content is to supplicate. You change the insult to a complement, the loss to a gain. You play the Pollyanna.

Conversely, to be happy is to struggle. You don”t have money, so you knock down every door until you get some. You don’t have a car, so you work your ass off to buy one. You don’t have a job, so you pound the pavement until you do.

To be happy is to battle. You refuse to accept mediocrity, to conform to defeat. You punch back against the punches. You break free of the chokehold.

In short, it’s better to be happy than content. Happiness is the pursuit of a passionate life: contentment the acceptance of a denigrated one.

10 thoughts on “There’s a Difference Between Being Content and Being Happy

  1. the Bible has a different pov:

    Philippians 4:4-13 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

  2. concerning *happiness,* consider what Jesus says in Matthew 5:1-11, otherwise known as “The Beatitudes.” The word, blessed, in Matthew 5 is translated from the Greek here:

    “Strong’s Concordance
    makarios: blessed, happy
    Original Word: μακάριος, α, ον
    Part of Speech: Adjective
    Transliteration: makarios
    Phonetic Spelling: (mak-ar’-ee-os)
    Short Definition: happy, blessed
    Definition: happy, blessed, to be envied.
    HELPS Word-studies
    3107 makários (from mak-, “become long, large”) – properly, when God extends His benefits (the advantages He confers); blessed.”

    – – –
    “1Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them.

    He said:

    3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    1. My final answer: Happiness and contentment are siamese twins. Feed one, and you feed the other.

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