“Enough is a feast.”– Buddhist proverb
That’s the quote I read as I turned the page to my July calendar. It’s a good reminder.
Contrast that to billionaire John D. Rockefeller’s reply to a question about how much more money he thought he needed, about how much he thought was enough.
“Just a little bit more.”
And while I could rant on about our culture of unchecked greed and our Wall Street deep sickness of always wanting more, don’t we all have a little bit of Rockefeller inside of us?
Our marriage is fine, but still we find our eye roving. Our job is satisfying, but if only we had a slightly better schedule and hey, we wouldn’t mind a raise. We get enough people to mostly fill the concert hall, but why didn’t we fill all those seats? Never quite wholly satisfied, always wondering why our neighbor’s grass is a little bit greener.
Well, that’s certainly human nature and the fact is, to keep the show moving forward, we need to be fueled by desire, we steer the curvy roads of our life’s path by our drive to improve, we might enjoy a moment’s peace at the rest stop, but our relentless slight dissatisfaction with here is what gets us traveling to there. The irony is that once we arrive there, we start feeling restless again and without a well-practiced habit of savoring here, we’re off on the road again looking for the next stop to paradise.
In my own life, I am right in the middle of “enough is a feast” and “just a little bit more.” I have just enough fame and fortune to keep doing what I love to do—teach kids, teach adults, share music with folks, share ideas and experiences with folks (this blog/ my books), travel, eat well, live in a modest house is a lovely neighborhood, enjoy my kids and grandkids and on and on. But I’ll confess to that greedy part of myself that wonders why Terry Gross and Oprah don’t invite me for an interview, why my books don’t sell as well as John Grisham’s or even Daniel Pink’s, why my Boom Chick a Boom CD has not won a Grammy for kid’s music, why I’m don’t have an honorary doctorate and nobody invites me to give commencement addresses and so on. I love everything I’m doing, but can’t I get just a little bit more attention? A part of me keeps waiting for my ship to come in, but the fact is that it came to port a long time ago and delivered everything I need for my little paradise on earth where indeed, “enough is a feast.”
This my confession as the month has turned and grateful that I could write it and you could read it and so happy to post this and then get on Zoom with my 45 students in the Jazz Course, followed by a leftover gazpacho lunch in the back yard on a sunny San Francisco day. Enough is indeed a feast—my mantra for July.