What is Enough?
What do we want? What do we need? What is enough? How often do we actually take the time to ask ourselves these fundamental, but far-reaching questions? My dad always says the mark of being an adult is one's willingness to separate our wants from our needs. He believes our needs are few and our wants, many. I think he is right.
I recently thought of my dad’s words when my husband and I joined our youngest daughter, Lacy, and her husband, Bryce, on a vacation that reflected the wants-needs issue. We chose a location that required us to paddle (not drive) to a hand-hewn log cabin on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, Minnesota. The cabin was breathtaking in both beauty and simplicity, with no electricity, no running water, no electronic access of any kind.
We spent eight days and seven nights in tranquil simplicity. We ate when we were hungry, went to sleep when we were tired, walked or paddled to get from here to there and found ourselves inspired at every turn by the vast twinkling night sky, the haunting calls of loons, the aerial acrobatics of bald eagles and the divine pleasure of a nightly wood-fired sauna. Simple. Simply amazing.
Time. We had time - to share, listen, laugh, wonder and just “be”. Our conversations ran the gamut, including what we want and need as people in this world we share. It was both moving and inspiring to hear our daughter and son-in-law share hopes and plans for their life - a life of meaning with greater simplicity. They want their life to be about building and nurturing relationships, investing in their community, buying local and focusing on those things that are truly important - none of which can be purchased with currency of any kind.
They want to make a home rather than occupy a Mc-mansion. They don't want their worth to be determined by name brands and price tags. They're looking at consumerism head-on and choosing to buy less and yet have more of what is really important. They’ve already realized they’re not what they own, what they can buy or what someone gives them. They’re wise beyond their not-quite thirty years.
If Lacy and Bryce are representative of their generation and those that will follow, the world is in good, caring hands, with hearts that will truly make a difference. And we can each be further inspired to determine “what is enough” by searching the library’s catalog. You can find many related titles including: Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life, Give it Up: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and What Kids Really Want That Money Can't Buy.
Here's to a life with greater meaning and simplicity. Here's to our daughter and son-in-law who are talking the talk and walking the walk. I love you beyond measure and honor the life you are creating and living together.