Enough

Here is a great story found on the internet:

At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history.

Heller said, “Yes, but I have something he will never have: Enough.”

This is so telling of our modern society. We are just driven to accumulate well past what satisfies our basic human needs, both physically and mentally.

In the documentary, “I AM”, Thom Hartmann talks about this also. He says that our consumer economy is based on a truth and a lie. The truth is that if you are alone in the woods, hungry, naked and cold and it is raining, you are unhappy. We can all agree on that. Then, you find someone in a cabin who let’s you come in, gives you warm clothes, a blanket and a bowl of soup while you sit by the fire. We can all agree that we go from “unhappy” to “happy”, in an instant, with very little stuff, but it’s the stuff that matters. So, the lie then, is that if that much stuff will make me that much happier, then 10 times as much stuff will make me 10 times happier, or 100 times as much stuff will make me 100 times happier… you get the point.

But that is not what the statistics show. The statistics show that once our basic physical and emotional needs are met, then more money and more ‘stuff’ doesn’t necessarily correlate with more happiness. Many people have experienced this first hand, where too much stuff makes a person less happy. For most people, spending time cleaning, maintaining and organizing their stuff, doesn’t provide the same satisfaction as spending time with friends & family, reading a book, taking a walk or doing something creative. Especially when they are maintaining stuff that doesn’t provide real value to their lives.

It is also very saddening that many people in the world really don’t have enough… Not enough clean drinking water, or food or a safe place to live… and then many of us have more than enough… even us hard core minimalists!

Once people start downsizing and purging, many will actually notice a huge increase in happiness, as well as their bank balance! People all over the internet are talking about selling their cars, getting rid of cable and moving to small spaces. And there are many other versions of enough as we are all in different circumstances.

There is a growing awareness that with a simple life people are free to pursue passion and purpose. This is true prosperity.

Maybe wealth can be redefined as a person having everything they need to thrive and bring value to their life and then stop wanting more. In other words, they have “ENOUGH”.

How about you? Do you feel you have enough? Or maybe too much?

One thought on “Enough

  1. Oh wow this is what I really needed to read today to be reminded I have only a few things I truly enjoy and the rest is just baggage. Thank you! I realized this the last time we went on a trip, and I only filled my “backpack of fun” about 1/4 full. In it, I placed my Kindle, favorite paper and pens, colored pencils, and ipod. I also brought my ginormous old laptop (too big to fit in the backpack). Other than that, a bag of clothes and toiletries, and there wasn’t anything else I even *wanted to bring*! I could have stuffed my backpack full, but I couldn’t even think of more to bring, and I didn’t want it to be difficult to get to what I wanted. Here at home, I am a paper and pen hog. Also books and way too many toys. I’ve gotten rid of all the craft stuff I won’t get to anytime soon, and lots of other things, but what I’ve kept is way too much of the things I (and the rest of the fam) enjoy. However, now I know it’s time to get rid of the excess of even what we delight in. We have our favorites, and the extras need to be shared with someone that will use and enjoy them…not stored for when our favorites “run out”.

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