The mind overvalues things it doesn’t have and undervalues things it does have
Suppose we are selling something to buy something in exchange. If we undervalued what we had and overvalued what we didn’t have, we would end up getting a poor deal for ourselves.
Something similar happens to us in life at large. We, or more specifically, our minds, tend to overvalue the many things that the world dangles before us – and such dangling is increased manifold in today’s world by the ad industry, which scientifically, systematically, ceaselessly tempts us with millions of things most of which we don’t need and yet which we crave for, and crave strongly for. Feeling dissatisfied with all these things we don’t have, we don’t appreciate or even notice the many good things we still have.
The Bhagavad-gita (17.16) urges us to develop the mental discipline of satisfaction. And an essential aspect of staying satisfied is training ourselves to value the things we have, without letting what we don’t have infatuate and blind us.
And the most precious thing we have, the thing which we never lose, the thing that is always within us – that is not a thing at all. That is a person, more precisely, the Supreme Person, Krishna.
We need regular reminders of what really matters, because the world will make us forget that. Whatever is presented most prominently, persuasively and persistently to us starts consuming our consciousness, and we start valuing it more and more. As the world will not stop presenting worldly things to us, we need to present the things that really matter to ourselves – or we need to place ourselves in social and spiritual circles that will provide us such reminders.
When we thus learn to value things properly, we won’t sell our eternal soul for the temporary world, but will use the temporary world to regain our eternal soul.
Think it over:
- Why do we often overvalue things?
- How can we value things properly?
- List three things you overvalue and three things you undervalue.
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