Our dinner last included rice. There was exactly enough for everyone to have what they wanted, and yet when I was serving it I left about a third of my son’s portion in the pot. When we sat down at the table he immediately gobbled up all of his rice, as I knew he would, and asked for more. I told him to finish the rest of his other dinner and then, yes, there was more rice for him. And honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered to him how much rice was on his plate, as long as there was “more.”
What is it about the idea of “more” that captivates us so? Even before Oliver said “please sir…” humanity has been obsessed with having more than we need. We stockpile. We hoard. We “plan for the future” to the point of damaging the present. It almost doesn’t matter what we have, as long as we can get “more.” Profits mean nothing without exponential growth. Record profits are what we long for, and yet the line keeps moving further and further away from us and it is not sustainable.
I get that security is important. What if we wake up tomorrow and our blessings have evaporated and we have less than we need?! How foolish it would be for us to not make sure we have tomorrow’s needs covered today. And yet decisions based on fear so often do not turn out well. If the goal is always “more,” then there is never such a thing as “enough.”
For now, I indulge my son to avoid dinner table conflicts. I want him to feel safe and secure in perceived abundance. I want to make sure that when he is done, that there is “more.” But someday soon I am going to have to teach him an important lesson. I will have to teach him that appreciating what you have is more important than making sure you have “more.” I will help him to understand that the only reason any one person should have “more” is so that they can use the extra to help those who don’t have “enough.” And that’s a lesson that I think more of us need to learn.