Complaining and calling people selfish and greedy for buying up massive amounts of groceries during this health crisis has become trendy and we can’t deny that people are behaving that way. But if you have faith in human nature (and maybe you don’t so this post isn’t really for you) there has to be a deeper explanation because most of what we know about our nature is that we are hard-wired to help each other. We would not have survived as a species otherwise.
A lot of us have lost the concept of Enough. We live in and have been nurtured our whole lives by a world that is built upon the rock of “more is better,” so we spend our lives looking to get better jobs to make more money so we can get better stuff to get better status among our peers so we can get better jobs to make more money...and so on.
And we start this really early on in schools built from the same foundation where it’s good to know more things so you can get better grades so you can improve your status so you can get more opportunities to know more things to get those better grades...and so on again.
So it’s hard to blame people who are cramming their vans full of so much toilet paper they won’t need any through the end of summer because, in our heads, even if we can define the word, we don’t really collectively have a concept of “Enough.”
Think about it--try a mental experiment. Make a list of the most basic things you need in life. What is enough for you? Once you’ve done that, do a little comparison. Are there people who get by on less? Almost definitely. Which really then is something to celebrate: what a blessing it is to have more than enough!
But also, like everything else in life, there’s no such thing as a pure blessing or a pure curse, everything comes with a little of each, and the trade off for having more than enough may just be that we don’t understand what Enough is.