Sometimes I think many of the problems of our society revolve around our not taking the time to think about what constitutes “enough”. “Enough” is defined as - sufficient to meet a need or satisfy a desire; adequate.
Most people seem to always want more; more money, more and better clothes, a newer car, a bigger house, etc. The past several decades have made wanting to have it all and have it all NOW not only seem to be an acceptable goal but positively normal.
The 80’s were the “Me” decade where conspicuous consumption was the norm and the 90’s the “Sky’s the limit” decade of ever increasing expectations for the economy. Everyone who could get stock options wanted them and expected to eventually be rich. Everyone who couldn’t was envious. The 2000’s may be a time to rethink having it all.
Television advertising, all advertising, continues to show us what we DON’T have and causes us to want more. There is nothing in our culture to promote, to cause us to think about, what is “enough”. After all, if you had enough you wouldn’t purchase the new products being advertised.
If you had enough, you wouldn’t have to work longer or harder or have two incomes in the family to buy more things. What you would have is more time for yourself and your family, less stress in your life because you wouldn’t be chasing more income to buy more things, and the satisfaction that you, and not the advertising world, were running your life.
This is a good season to think about what constitutes enough in our life. It’s the season when there is the most advertising to tempt us to buy things. It’s the season when we receive things others think we will like. And we do like many of those things. But, how many do we need?
Perhaps people have to be mature, to have wanted, acquired and used up many things before they can think in terms of “enough”. It may take the experience of time and of living to sort out what really matters in our life.
It may be that those who could benefit most by thinking about what is enough don’t have the time to think such thoughts. They’re working so hard to get what they think they need that the idea of enough isn’t even a thought they’d have.
Has such thinking become a luxury?
Can we be satisfied with