The other day, I was (again) considering contentment after noticing, with some annoyance, my inability to keep hold of it. I began to turn the idea of "good"-ness over + over in my mind.
In the UK, commenting that a dessert is "nice" is heartfelt praise. At first threw me off, because in the USA, "nice" is a pretty neutral adjective in the same context. It may even be used to add an element of sarcasm to the comment. I like the British usage far more, and wonder if it might offer us a little insight into our lack of contentment, especially as Americans.
In the USA, we often use words like "nice", "good", "fine" and "okay" as pretty neutral words. As Americans, we strive for so much better than the baseline...better than neutral. We strive for "spectacular", "exciting", "wondrous", "awesome", "amazing", "incredible". While all of that is great sometimes, it sets us up for discontent + dissatisfaction.
It's easy to recognize goodness when we don't have it. When we are sick + can't breathe through our noses, we know the goodness of being able to breathe unobstructed. But even as our noses clear, we are already forgetting to see the goodness in that feeling.
But what if we could truly perceive the goodness of "good"...the okay-ness of ok...the niceness of "nice"...the fineness of "fine"? What if we could wake up to the goodness of having clothing that keeps us comfortable in the elements...the niceness of a warm cup of coffee or tea...the okay-ness of having enough to eat...the goodness of legs that carry us...the fineness of running water...the okay-ness of a roof over our heads...the goodness of the ability to read...
"Good" is so good!