How to avoid unintentionally sow discontent?

Illustration of a sad face.

Here are those who deliberately sow discontent.

They usually have an ulterior motive, such as “to divide and conquer.”

It is a method used by political rulers and ruthless power hungry businessmen, obviously no person of good nature and who loves his neighbor as himself will deliberately sow discontent.

He will not scheme to make others discontented with their lot, causing them to take a foolish course from which he may personally profit.

But unless one is careful he may unwittingly sow discontent in the hearts of others.

How so?

By coming short in empathy, in ability to put oneself in the other fellow’s place.

For example, one may unwittingly sow discontent by discussing the failings or shortcomings of others.

Suppose one tells a husband of some minor indiscretion or blunder made by his wife, which she tried to keep from him, knowing how it would affect him.

Would not his knowing about it tend to make him discontented with his wife and less inclined to make the best of things?

Or a mother may be critical of her husband’s business judgments and express this before their children.

Will this not tend to make them discontented with what their father provides?

Thus unwittingly one may sow discontent, and that right within the family circle.

The remedy?

Empathy

Empathy for a friend.

Putting ourselves in the place of the one adversely affected by our remarks will help us to keep from making them.

Someone may come to us with a grievance, fancied or real.

If, without considering the result, we unhesitatingly agree with the grieved one and try to make him feel good by adding merit to his cause, we may be unwittingly increasing his discontent.

It may be that the grieved one is already feeling too sorry for himself.

Perhaps the thing to do is to try to help him to see the other side of the case.

It may actually be something trivial.

No harm or injury may have been intended.

By emphasizing this we can help to sow contentment instead of abetting discontent.

Closely related to the foregoing is the sowing of discontent unwittingly by giving expression to one’s own discontent.

Murmuring or complaining is contagious and  sows discontent.

Our friends are prone to take our side and by doing so they may become discontented with conditions over which they have no control.

Then again, one might unwittingly sow discontent by stirring up rivalry, competition and the spirit of vain glory, causing some to want to outshine their fellows.

Others may have been content with their lot, making progress, though not in a competitive spirit, but if one betrays an inordinate or extreme desire to excel, to eclipse others, this will awaken in them the spirit of rivalry, resulting in discontent.

Thoughtlessness on our part may at times cause us to be lacking in modesty and this also may cause us unwittingly to sow discontent.

Success may come easily or naturally to us, but if we are prone to boast of it or to harp on it we may cause others, less favored, to feel discontent.

There is nothing. wrong with asking others to rejoice in the good things that happen to come your way, but unless you are modest about it, it can be taken for boasting about your abilities and so make others feel discontented.

We might also sow discontent by the way we dress.

If, forgetting modesty, we were to dress in such a way as to draw undue attention to our material: means of life, making ourselves stand out in contrast to those with.whom we are associating, we might find that we were unwittingly fostering discontent among our associates, and perhaps even a bit of resentment.

Or one may unwittingly sow discontent by being partial, by showing favoritism, by making class distinctions, or by betraying racial or national prejudice.

Yes, by showing partiality, by manifesting discrimination or betraying prejudice one makes others less content with their lot, thus sowing discontent.

In view of there being so much of this in the world it would be well if all lovers of righteousness would lean over backward,as it were, to avoid any trace of these unfavorable traits so that these usually discriminated against may at least for a time forget it, making for more happiness.

So let each one be careful to avoid sowing discontent, even unwittingly.

Thoughtfulness, fellow feeling or empathy will enable one to unwittingly sow discontent.

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