The Timelessness of Contentment…..


 

John Denver – “Annie’s Song”

You fill up my senses like a night in a forest,
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you,
let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms.
like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean.
Come let me love you, come love me again.

You fill up my senses like a night in a forest,
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you,
let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms.
like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean.
Come let me love you, come love me again.

Whilst it is true that in these evergreen lyrics of “Annie’s Song”, John Denver – an American singer/songwriter, activist, and humanitarian – mourns the loss of his true love, he is simultaneously extremely eloquent of how his true love has brought him simple pleasures that have overwhelmed his senses with joy – like a walk in the forest, the mountains in springtime, etc He expresses the fact that he has derived immense satisfaction & delight from the innumerable small things in Life that we invariably take for granted – as a given. This song is Denver’s greatest “Ode to Joy” & for that this song & lyrics have been forever immortalised the world over.

 

When I think of my own childhood, I feel wistful & sad, at times. While it is certainly a sweet reminder of a bygone era – so to speak – it is a glaring fact of how things have so drastically changed in the world of today. changes in lifestyle & basic principles & values do not always signal the betterment of civilization, as a whole. When I was young, the children of those generations were invariably the products of large families who lived cramped, all together, in a tiny dwelling and the head of the family had to invariably work at two jobs to sustain his family. Sometimes, about 15 people crowded into one tiny, dingy, little room to view their favourite sport or movie because they had no black & white television set of their own. However, everyone was happy & contented – they never wanted for anything & their basic contentment sustained them, through thick & thin. The children of such families never had much to eat & drink but they had one blessed thing – the great outdoors. Children took delight in playing in the sunshine, for hours on end. People of that age had very few wants, desires & needs – they were satisfied with very little money to spend, practically no pocket-money & very little entertainment in the form of movies, concerts, plays, etc because they honestly knew no better.  But they were still satisfied – they indulged in reading, studying a musical instrument, painting or any other hobby. The simple enjoyment of looking at the sparkling stars on a moonlit night; a walk in the woods or even the humble fact of taking one’s pet for a walk gave them great pleasure. Surprising, but true – every word of it!

 

The contemporary youth, in my opinion, don’t really know of a childhood – at least not in the strictest sense of the word. They expect a large amount as pocket-money every month; each child expects his parents to spend large amounts of cash on buying them the most expensive cell phone, iPod, Iphone, laptop, sneakers, clothes, etc & many, many other things. They keep wanting more & more & still more & even then they are not satisfied! This is the age of drug abuse, prostitution to earn extra money, indiscriminate sex, abortions and promiscuity. What in the world is honesty, politeness, respect, obedience & humility? These virtues are almost never heard of or adhered to by the youngsters of today’s world. This is the age of  the spoiled, rich brat who gets aways with any misdemeanor because his father is wealthy enough to bribe the police & the entire judicial system. They live in the lap of luxury & every need is supplied by several maids & househelp of every kind. A 55 inch flat-screen plasma television adorns the wall of their multiple room duplex apartment. People of today’s day & age are, as a rule, extremely ambitious, ruthless, unscrupulous & greedy for more & more materialistic needs & desires – all in the pursuit of endless money & power. I doubt very much if the people of today are really happy and content. Do you think so? When I say happy, I mean taking immense pleasure from the many, simple things of life, giving much & of expecting very little in  return? No, I don’t think that the people of today are really happy.

 

One basic fact always remains – “The more one is grateful for, the more one will have to be grateful for.” This is the theory & expression of contentment – it ought to be timeless, evergreen & a concept that everyone holds dear to their heart. However, we all know that the sad reality is very, very different!

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