Quote of the Day:
“How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I’d do things my way, But little they know it’s so hard to find, one rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.”
–Satisfied Mind, Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes
TB’s mind, travellin’ always in its cosmic jalopy on the winding road toward satisfaction, has been contemplatin’ lately the lyrics to this great tune. Recorded by several artists I admire, including Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Jeff Buckley, and dozens of others, I was stunned to learn it was originally a hit for Porter Wagoner in 1955, which goes to show that I’m not one to go about judgin’ who is and who is not possessed of soul based only on the TV shows inflicted upon me as a small child in 1976.
“Satisfied” is a word not held in high esteem by all. I’ve been told that to be satisfied is akin to being finished; that it means all efforts to improve are finished and ambition is forgotten. I get that. But I also think there’s room for nuance in the idea of satisfaction, and that is to recognize and appreciate what has already been accomplished. This by no means precludes continuing efforts to improve. In fact, I don’t believe one can attain satisfaction if they do not have some sort of blueprint for further advancement.
The example that springs to mind is of a day of hiking in the mountains. The terrain is rough, there are bears lurking nearby and most of all TB ain’t as young as I used to be. But then, around the next curve appears a view of the valley below, the bluest blue sky imaginable, and an even taller peak to climb maybe tomorrow across the way. It’s a damn satisfyin’ moment and everyone who comes around that bend sits on the smoothed over boulder with the wildflowers growing around it to admire the vista, not forgetting there’s a lot more mountain left to climb, but satisfied in the moment for having made it to this point. Satisfied forever in the little corner of the mind housing the memory, yet glad for the anticipation of the next viewpoint, just a few hundred feet higher, past a few more bears, and even a bit older.
Achieving a satisfied mind is a lofty aspiration for a thinkin’ man, or a thinkin’ girl too. I’m lucky to have my girls as the reliable engine that drives my jalopy. It keeps me movin’ when politicians make the wheels fall off, or natural disasters and human suffering muddy the windshield, or when the constant pursuit of more, enough, money and things, knocks out the headlights. One of these days I’ll figure how to get the contraption runnin’ smoothly, impervious, though never oblivious, to the forces out to cause another little breakdown.
Then I’ll see if I can’t soup it up to go faster. Maybe put in a nice sound system too.
What is the difference between satisfied and content?
My feeling is–and I don’t claim it as authoritative–is that contentedness connotes an ending, a lack of motivation to progress while satisfaction means the same peace of mind but with an openness to further development.
It’s a good question (as wordsmith questions go-ha!). Really maybe there’s no difference. This tune conveys an idea I feel even if it’s hard to verbalize. Guess that’s why I tried to do it.
Today, a simpler, yet equally heartfelt post is coming. Stay tuned.
In my past experience, many folks thought being content was a bad place to be. I totally disagree! Being content would be staying home on a Saturday night with a famous home cooked meal while drinking copious amount of wine because you are totally satisfied (and proud) of the new _________ you just got or accomplished. For me that blank would be filled with the satisfaction of getting my yard cleaned up and the general looking down upon it all from the porch. Satisfied and content while the smell of my dinner cooking wafts past my nose as I sip a great red wine at about 7pm while the sun goes down.
Could contentedness and satisfaction be interchangeable? I am content with the fact that the laundry is done and the kitchen is clean, maybe I’ll be satisfied when the rest of the house or its inhabitants follow suit. But most likely, by the time that happens there will certainly be a new mound of laundry that resulted from the above mentioned “following suit.” However, this does not impede on the joy and content realized by the actions of said inhabitants. Etc, etc, etc. I say we take joy in the moment of the of contentedness and satisfaction. Don’t let future expectations rob the satisfactions of the present.
Good advice Tiny D!
I am content to have the first pick in our NCAA pool. It will only be satisfying if I choose the winner……….
You are Zen, personified.
A Satisfied mind is what one can not achieve in the passionate embraces of kNelms.