“You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find you get what you need.” (The Rolling Stones)
There is power in these lyrics on so many levels. I chuckle when I think of the unusual arrangement of having The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing back-up to The Rolling Stones, which seems so incredible, yet brilliant. Of course they would not have accompanied The Stones on “Sympathy for the Devil”!
It is so easy to fall prey to the trappings of a life based upon wants from overly-conspicuous consumption. While our wants might satisfy some primal urges, they cannot meet our needs. I faced a stark reminder of how simple are our needs these past two weeks, and my attitude of gratitude overwhelmed me.
All of us need to focus more on gratitude, for once you can find that constant within you, you will find happiness in life, and be able to share that happiness with others as well as work towards a better world where our neighbors can meet their needs and develop that same attitude. We find the following pithy statement in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) 4:1: Who is rich? Those who are content with their portion.
Contentedness can be such a difficult level to reach. Alas, for some, it requires a degree of resignation, acceptance that this is the best it will be. I prefer the path of celebration for what has been achieved, to revel in the blessings that God has seen fit to bestow upon me. I chose to accept this bounty and express gratitude to God every day for all of my blessings, which indeed are too numerous to list. Yes, life can always be better, but the converse is equally true: life can always be worse. As Erma Bombeck titled her book, “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”.
Reinforce your gratitude, not out of resignation, but out of a place of joy for the many blessings you have. “You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find you get what you need.”