I’m hoping that in 2011 everyone has enough. The holidays lend themselves to this kind of rumination. So many people are hungry and cold while the rest of us celebrate our plenty. While I give to food and toy drives, make toy bags for homeless children, and host community meal events like everybody else, my worries tend to head in the other direction.
I often meditate on the word while I walk. Enough. Enough is a luxury.
We Americans seem to be addicted to stuff and food and things and cars and electronics, to excess and extremes. I worry about all of those people renting storage units to store broken toys and abandoned furniture that they can’t be bothered to fix, replacing them with goods made in China and purchased on sale with money they don’t have. What are the long term ramifications of that habit? Will people from other countries come to hate us? How can workers paid $10 a day not hate us after breaking their backs making singing trophy trout or naked Santas to dance on the dashboard? How do we justify to our children and grandchildren 40 presents under the tree and no money to spend on college? What does the cultural phenomenon of hoarders, ordinary people who fill their home with As Seen on TV goods until there is nowhere to walk, say about the rest of us?
I know the concept of enough is the center of the obesity problem also. Sure, obesity rates creep ever upward in correlation to technology, subsidization of junk food, and ever-expanding portion size, but obesity is most strongly linked with poverty levels. It seems counterintuitive; the people with the least food security are the fattest in this country. Subconsciously we seem to be like dogs sharing a bowl of kibble. We don’t know if there are enough resources for everyone, so we overindulge to get our fill, our portion of the bounty.
Enough! I have enough. I have a warm home, sweet kids, a job I like, healthy food to eat, love, and laughter. What could I find in a Bed, Bath and Beyond flier to add to that? Looking through an Eddie Bauer catalog, I could find something I’d like, but if I don’t look, I’ll never miss it. I don’t need seconds at dinner. And most Americans don’t either.
Our headlines are populated with symptoms of not enough and too much: hungry children and heart disease, credit card debt and homes cluttered with stuff, foreclosures and CEO compensation packages. Neither extreme is making people happy. Or making our society more equitable, stable, or prosperous.
I resolve to have enough this year. Without the burden of want or glut, I can focus on being my best me.
May you have enough as well.