A contented mind is a perpetual feast.

Summer - Beijing, China
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

A contented mind is a perpetual feast

Kahlil Gibran wrote, “once, when my feet were bare, and I had not the means of obtaining shoes, I came to the chief of Kufah in a state of much dejection, and saw there a man who had no feet. I returned thanks to God and acknowledged his mercies, and endured my want of shoes with patience.” I believe in contentment. I believe contentment maintains good balance between unlimited desire and limited ability and helps to develop a beatific and tranquil state of mind.

I always thought, from the moment I was born, my life was doomed to hardships and misfortune. I suffer from congenital heart disease, which shut me off from most of the activities of normal children. My recollection of my childhood is permeated with the bitterness of Chinese medicinal herbs.

When I turned six, old enough to receive the heart transplant operation, my parents accompanied me to a hospital for treatment. The little boy sharing the same hospital room with me didn’t get off the operating table after surgery. I burst into loud wails. Nothing could cushion me against the fear of death. With extreme reluctance, I was wheeled into the operating room. Miraculously, I woke up from surgery, exceedingly grateful and content to be alive.

Fate offered me a chance of regeneration, while the reality was not always very palatable. Although the operation was plain sailing, the chief doctor estimated that, given my current conditions, I was unlikely to live to my 18th birthday; however, fortune smiles on me and now, I’m already 20 years old. Despite still suffering from curvature of spine, which consequently leads to compression of heart, I feel so lucky and content. As the miracle of life persists, I appreciate every minute to enjoy my life to the fullest.

Now I am studying in college, a paradise, sharing heaven’s best bestowal, a second chance to live and appreciating all that I have. I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, intellectually gifted or well off. I’m plain, obscure and living hand to mouth, but I’m happy, content and serene from the bottom of my heart.

Life has taught me to accept the cards I am dealt, keep a content mind and hold a grateful attitude towards life. The sense of contentment infuses sunshine into my life and the best things come when I least expect them to.

One who is content finds great happiness even sleeping on the gound.

One who is discontent will never find happiness even in heaven.

I believe that a contented mind is a perpetual feast.