Enough

Will there ever be enough? Will we ever have enough? Can we ever do enough? When is enough enough?

Enough: as much or as many as required.

But some things don’t have a finite requirement…time, money, meaningful experiences, happiness, love. I can’t even fathom how much would be enough. I told my husband just a couple weeks ago, “Even if we live to 100, we still won’t have enough time together.” We get used to how much we have and take it for granted, even when it’s more than most have, and we still want more.

The most quantifiable and relatable of course is with money. I had a goal to pay off my student loans before I was 30. I was working two jobs and making a typical wage for someone right out of college. I had a tight budget and often made the choice to eat beans and rice so I could pay my bills, and spend $15 on a shirt to wear out on the weekend. I was making more money than I ever had, I was hitting my goals, looking great in my Target score, I was fed, and I was happy. As life has progressed, I have to remind myself of that time to maintain perspective. I may want a $40 shirt now, but I know I don’t need one.

Perspective: a point of view. Our perspectives shape our goals and desires. The way we see the world, our values, our priorities, all shape what we want in life and how we live. Perspective also shapes our view of “enough.” Rice and beans is more than enough for someone who is starving, but for someone born into a family who regularly serves caviar, it may not be enough. That’s all each of them knows. That’s their perspective. Instead of judging people’s perspectives and choices, why don’t we ask about them?

This past week I spent time with two brothers who own a business together. One’s motto for life is the same as George Carlin’s: Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

The other brother prefers something more like Eddie Cantor: Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

You can imagine the friction this could cause in their professional and personal lives! But surprisingly, they seemed to love, understand, and respect each other deeply. While I was asking a million questions, they each pointed out that neither is right or wrong, just different. It was clear they knew themselves, their values, priorities, and what they care about and had many discussions about it…probably even some heated discussions!

It got me wondering…what if we spent less time judging how others live, and spent more time understanding why?

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