The first son, despite everything that he has, was never truly happy. Whenever good things abound, he would get so attached to them, he would fear losing all that he owns, and so he lived in a constant state of attachment, fear, and anxiety. And whenever bad things happened, none of his possessions comforted him. The second son, owning very little possessions, lived quite a peaceful life. Whenever good things abound, he would take out the ring he inherited and read the inscription: This too shall pass. This will remind him that everything he appreciates in his life is a gift, and with that graciousness and humility, he understood that none of them are permanent. He lived without fear of loss. He accepted the temporal nature of all things. And whenever bad things happened, he would also take out the ring and read the inscription: This too shall pass. Knowing that difficulties and challenges are temporary comforted him. Even as unexpected and undesired situations arise, he understood that as pain is sometimes unavoidable, suffering is optional.
We get to choose how we live our lives. With attachment and arrogance, we will spend our lives chasing after goal after goal after goal, but never fully feeling satiated. We will then be caught in a vicious cycle of desire and suffering. But with humility, no matter how much or how little we possess, how much or how little we accomplish, when we see everything that we have as a result of grace, we will find more ease in sharing the gifts that we have, and in turn we will find more peace, more meaning, and more purpose in the way in which we live our lives.