“Enough is abundance to the wise.” ~ Euripides
There is a commercial being broadcast currently for the Georgia lottery which dramatizes the absurdity of a couple who lament winning the jackpot when the prize was “only” fifteen million dollars. It is humorous, but it also succeeds in driving home the point that, in our society, we have become so attached to excess that we only bother to risk a dollar when the potential return is in the hundreds of millions. Fifteen million just isn’t enough.
If you think about it, the reason that we play the lottery at all is that we are convinced that what we already have isn’t enough. Intellectually, we all know the truth of the adage, “money can’t buy happiness”, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to put it to the test. The problem is that in our quest to attain the aforementioned happiness, we often overlook the gifts and blessings that are already abundant within and around us, as we are seduced by the illusion that what we seek is just one winning ticket (or diamond solitaire, or iPad, or face lift, or promotion) away.
We are in the midst of the season of Thanksgiving, and this is a time when we are essentially forced by the holiday to turn our thoughts to gratitude for what we have. I suggest that there are immense spiritual benefits to be gained from being consciously thankful for what is already in evidence in your life daily, throughout the year, rather than just for one day or a single season.
Is it easy or difficult for you to find things in your life you are thankful for? Do you feel that you want for more than you have attained? There is nothing wrong with striving for bigger and better, but we would all do well to remember that “more” will not get us closer to happiness, and in fact contentment dwells in the knowledge that – as long as our needs are satisfied – what we have is indeed enough.
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We tell our kids about having an attitude of gratitude instead of an air of expectancy but I am thinking maybe I need to look into the mirror more often wgen I say that
Yep. We are so wise when we’re giving advice to our children, aren’t we? We need to remember the rewards in being the recipients of our own wisdom. Or at least I do. 🙂
Another great post. It is sometimes difficult for me to remember the difference between “needs” and “wants”. Thanks for your reminder.
I am challenged by this too, Peggy. I often feel hypnotized by the constant emphasis on more, more, more in our consumer society, so this post is as much a “note to self” as it is food for thought.