It is easy to blame stress for everything that has gone wrong in your life. You usually try to find a scapegoat and most of the time you hold responsible people close to you for your problems.

Of course, it is hard to lift yourself above the gloom we associate with depression. But it is stupid to let yourself slide down the drain of destruction when there is a lot to live for.

I don’t remember where I read it, but one man felt ashamed of himself after he was depressed because he could not afford a new pair of shoes until he saw another man, who had no feet at all.

I think people these days use depression as an excuse not to do anything. Or simply, it has become a latest fashion. If you don’t have it than you are not part of the latest obsession.

We see many young women, who failed to get a proper marriage matching succumbed to despair when they only have to look elsewhere. Millionaires spend a fortune to overcome dark moods only to plunge deeper. They don’t know that all they have to do is to be content.

I was amused when an elite countryman said that words like, “content, patience or tolerance” are inspiration of the poor. He also said: “People of substance have enough means to ignore such stupidity.”

This particular gentleman used to lift himself above his gloom by phoning the minister to give him a large land to make him feel better. He did it often enough and the minister did not have the guts to say no to him.

That was, probably, what he meant by having “means”. I jokingly asked him what a villager would do if he was in a depressive mood.

“They don’t have anything that they would miss badly enough to make them depressed,” he answered.

He was right. When you have a couple of cows, a dozen chickens and grow your own staple food in a land that is worth almost nothing, then you have everything you need to get you going. Unlike the gentleman, he cannot dare “ignore” the three words, since they are sacred to him. They also keep this villager’s sanity intact.

On closer scrutiny, when you have a glass of milk, couple of eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, then what else do you need to keep you healthy?

Of course, a villager toils to have the food on his plate, but the sweat removes the extra fat in his body. It also leaves no room for idle thoughts to stress out. He comes back to his modest house so tired with just enough energy to climb in his bed.

Like one businessman once said to me, the world of acquisition and takeover make the feelings of certain people numb. They also mechanise their lives, the way a machine is programmed to obey orders.

For ordinary city people like us, we allow everything that does conform to our standard of living get out of hand. And there are loads of items in that list. Trivialities like you were not invited to a party or saw a scratch on your car would trigger off a wave of complaints. It is not just that the scratch could not be fixed or the party was too important, but simply things did not work out the way you had planned.

It is amazing, isn’t it, how we work ourselves to a depression when we let unimportant things mount up.

In the end, the safe bet is to rely on our own resources. You don’t need anybody to be content, patient or tolerant. They are qualities that are within our control, but sometimes we don’t look deep enough.

The writer is an Oman-based freelance columnist. This article has been  reprinted from the Khaleej Times.