Monday, June 22, 2009
"The Meaning of Enough"
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. What is enough? When is it enough? I have been thinking about this in so many different contexts. In working on this paper for the National Council For Research on Women I commented that women often leave their careers because either they have had 'enough' with the battles and challenges associated with being a woman ( and often working mother) at work, or because they have made 'enough' money to live comfortably and want to spend time with their family and serving their community. Next, I am reading John Bogle's book "ENOUGH. True Measure of Money, Business and Life" where he writes about the "gross excesses that have overwhelmed our financial system, precipitating the crisis we now face." Next I have been thinking about it in a personal context as we prepare for a possible move and I am purging through all the 'stuff' we have accumulated and I am asking why did we purchase so much? I keep telling myself 'enough with the stuff.' And just this morning I read this piece in Naked Capitalism by Leo Kolivakis, a founder of Blackstone, about why he is giving away $1 billion dollars. He suggests that we ask ourselves 'do you know the meaning of enough?" Some people, most people, will never have opportunity to ask themselves this question. Why? Because they live on less then a dollar a day. For those of us who have so so so much more, asking ourselves this question is truly important. I suggest, as does Leo, that it is in knowing the meaning of enough that we will be able to generously give and serve others. Thank you for setting a great example Mr. Kolivakis and I hope you are sharing this message with all the current partners of Blackstone and more broadly, as they are some of the richest men in the world and truly have the power and resources to be change agents. Then again.... so do we all.