When Is Enough Enough?
To want all or to want nothing are both dangerous. Those who want all are the conquerors and exploiters and power lords who have brought the world to the state it is in today. They will exploit the poor and the weak but get their feelings of the most power from exploiting those equal to them in power. The world is a game to these people and we are all pawns.
But to want nothing may lead to despair. True, in a few holy men, it has been the path to enlightenment; but for those living within the world and not to the side of it, to want nothing can lead to apathy and powerlessness.
I think the true enlightenment lies in wanting enough and then wanting enough for others as well. This doesn’t have to be done by charity. It can be done by the way we vote, the way we treat our neighbors, the way we invest our money and the way we conduct our own businesses. It can be done by the way we bargain for a trinket on the beach or handle wrong change.
Sylvia Plath was probably correct in her statement, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” When the richest woman in the world commits suicide or the richest men in the world exploit those living hand-to-mouth, one has to wonder what great lack they are trying to fill and whether in fact they have ever discovered the secret of what the world is really about.
This is a rewrite of an essay written three years ago. The prompt today was enlighten.