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?