Complacence versus contentment

complacent (comparative more complacentsuperlative most complacent)

  1. Uncritically satisfied with oneself or one’s achievements; smugquotations ▼
  2. Apathetic with regard to an apparent need or problem.


I got into a sort of a spat once on a bus ride from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. It was with an older woman who had foregone her dream to make theater productions, citing one (very) old award and telling me that that was then and now she was content. I said she didn’t sound content. That there’s a difference between contentment, comfort and complacence. And that what she had was the last one.

I’ve learned from her reaction not to say such things, directly, and out loud, to people who don’t really want to know what I think about that. But honestly, if you don’t want to even think about thinking about it, then… you will go that way. Complacently.

Ahem, *cough*.