Sunday, August 28, 2005

Enough is Enough!

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts,
nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live
according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence,
magnanimity, and trust.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10

It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have.
- Sheryl Crow, Soak Up the Sun

This morning, I saw two ads just before leaving for another weekend at work that brought back a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. Namely, what is enough? One ad showed an gentleman with what appeared to be a nice house and nice car exclaiming 'Help, I am up to my eyeballs in debt?' What would save him, of course was the nice home equity people. The other was basically an ad for a VW Jetta and owners happy because of their purchase no matter what misfortunes befall them. It would seem, from my perspective, that there are many people who fall into the category of needing so much beyond what they need that they get themselves into trouble and there are those who surround themselves with much more than enough in order to be happy. In all honesty, I keep falling into the latter category and wonder a lot lately about how much I may need to give up to truly enjoy life and still have "enough", or if that is even possible/necessary

Granted there are also plenty who are not in the position of having enough as well. It would seem that these individuals lose out a lot more than they should as a result 'enough never being enough' for many others but I suppose that is just one opinion.

Of course there is the thought that enough is to live as simple as possible. Thoreau suggests that the more a person attaches him/herself that which is more than necessity (i.e. a shack is all that may be truly needed, but a mansion becomes much more than needed), the more the person becomes shackled to them as a slave, imprisoned and unable to escape.

So which is it? Or is it something entirely different? What really is enough?

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