WHEN’S ENOUGH, ENOUGH?
A child inspired me. I never saw her. Her grandfather and I are members of Emerald Coast Writers and in a pre-meeting discussion we were fawning over our grandkids, as grandparents are licensed (and fully expected) to do.
He had taken his family on a vacation and he and his granddaughter, who is six, were out for a walk. They came upon a penny. She picked it up and they walked on, then suddenly she stopped, ran back, put the penny back on the sidewalk and then returned to her granddad.
“Why did you put the penny back?” he asked.
She looked up at him. “I have enough luck. I left it for somebody who needs it.”
I thought about that child’s comment for a long time after the meeting and, if truth be told, during it and a single question kept rising in my mind. When is enough enough?
We constantly strive for better and more. We often do so at the expense of other important things in our lives, and at times, we focus so hard on our goals that we actually lose sight of why we sought those goals. We forget to remember the meaning and purpose behind the quest, and, yes, sometimes even the goal itself.
Over the years, I’ve watched people rationalize doing things that at the beginning they would never have considered doing. Manipulating, using others, taking advantage of people in ways that would have repulsed them. I’ve seen admirable human beings ride the edge and tumble into obsession all for what once had been deemed a noble cause or a worthy goal that became buried under the moniker of a quest for success.
It doesn’t matter whether the person got the goal in the end if that person lost herself along the way. It doesn’t matter if a person succeeds in the quest if she lost the vision that inspired her to make that journey in the first place, either.
The lesson learned is that it’s healthy and wise to stop now and then on our journey to fulfill our dreams and ask ourselves if we’ve crossed the line or we’re riding the edge and we truly want to ride that edge. It’s healthy and wise to ask ourselves when enough is enough.
And it’s even more healthy and wise to ask ourselves if we’ve determined when enough is enough.