About How Much is Enough
My friend Adrienne and I were digging in the spring dirt, laughing and spreading compost over her sizable garden plot, when she confided to me her secret fear: "Do I really have enough money? How would I live, if one day it all just disappeared?"
I was stunned by her insecurity, given that she received a family fortune of over 10 million dollars. Yet I had to admit that while my assets are far less than hers, my emotional situation is not all that different. I have more than enough for now... but will I have enough in the future? What can "enough" possibly mean in such an uncertain world, and in a country where the economic safety nets are terribly inadequate?
I spend what sometimes seems an absurd amount of time figuring taxes, planning investments for my son's education, balancing checkbooks, researching mortgage refinancing, seeking some degree of control and security. Yet even if my family and I are doing okay, what does "enough" mean when others I love are struggling? If a close friend who says he can't afford health insurance gets in a car crash, won't I want to help pay the hospital bills? And what about the rest of the world, where the average person's income is around $2,000 per year?
These are the kinds of questions we explore in this issue of More than Money. What steps have people taken-practically, emotionally, politically and spiritually-to create a sense of enough in their lives? And if they have "more than enough," what's the sensible thing to do with their surplus? We hope the issue inspires you to reflect on your own sense of scarcity or abundance, and to craft a more meaningful financial life.
We expect the 1990's and early 21st century will bring some extraordinary changes, and we deeply believe those of us with surplus have the opportunity to play a special role in easing a critical transition to a sustainable and fundamentally more just society. What would change, if each of us learned to experience having enough, moment by moment, day by day?
It is our fervent wish that one day even the most wealthy will let go of their individual pots of power and security and invest fully in the common good.
- anonymous author
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