I’ve heard several people in recent months comment on the wealthy with almost the exact same argument: “You only need so much. When you get to a certain point, you shouldn’t need to go after more.”
If that mentality ruled, the entire world would still be an agrarian society, still using horses, plows and child labor. Millions would still die every year from malaria, polio and the black plague. Buildings the world over would be one-storey tall. Cars would not exist, pharmeceuticals would not exist. The average life would still be about 40 years old. Science would be virtually non-existent. Aircraft would be a pipe dream. Cancer treatments would be, too.
People were not meant to be happy with “enough.” It’s an insult, actually, to the limitless quality of human potential. Humans are capable of just about anything, and the idea that we should simply stop with “enough” is really such backward thinking that it baffles me.
The initial rebuttal might be: “Well, I wouldn’t roll back what we have, but we certainly don’t need more.”
Hypocrite. And narrow-minded to boot.
I don’t advocate greed, but I do support ambition. I don’t care if you make $15 million a month. Please do! If you know anything about business economics, you know that that money isn’t sitting in a personal bank account, it’s actively rolling in a business! Someone worth $15M is employing hundreds of people! No one getting paid $75,000 a year could boast the same, because that’s not how business works.
And the real argument here isn’t about ambition, it’s about greed and selfishness, and yes, they are two separate qualities.
Anyone who feels they have the right to claim they know how much money someone SHOULD earn, despite knowing nothing about that other person or industry, is like a fish complaining that a salamander shouldn’t go onto land.
When you grow satisfied with your life, you can stop earning more. I won’t judge you. I’ll be happy for you. But for you to judge when YOU know when someone else has earned enough is so arrogant of you! How dare you imagine you know anything about other people and the dreams they have inside?
Imagine if you cut off Steve Jobs because you thought a small computer company was enough? He didn’t need to grow or innovate. He had enough, he doesn’t need more, so, therefore, he shouldn’t try.
Are you listening to yourself? Let’s boil this down.
“My potential is here. It must be here for everyone else, too.”
Instead of focusing on how much someone makes (which is really just indicative of your own jealousy), should you not be happy that they made it legally? That it shows the poor man that the sky is limitless? That if he learns his trade, works hard and smart, he, too, can leave the hard life behind?
We have such technological wonders, such great infrastructures, such quick transportation, such worldwide communication PRECISELY because people weren’t happy with the average “enough.” Enough? Enough is such a subjective term. What’s enough for one man isn’t enough for another, and to imagine that they should be the same is to completely ignore the individual value each unique person brings to the world.
For me, my faith with God has a long way to go, but I’ll tell you what, if I expected the American level of Christianity to be enough, I’d still be locked in my addiction to pornography, wrapped in selfishness and overcome with the evils of this world. I decided I didn’t have enough. I wanted more. I wanted God. I wanted the freedom that came with it.
I WANTED MORE! And now I have it, and I am better for it.
And I will not advocate, under any positive circumstance, the infringement upon anyone’s ability to get MORE by someone who thinks they have “enough.” I don’t respect that point of view. It makes me sick. It makes me angry.
Moms wanted more than non-stop housework, and because someone didn’t want “enough,” technologies like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, hot irons, refrigerators and many more were created.
Enough is never enough, and that’s never a bad thing. It’s only bad if you’re unhappy in such a pursuit, and that’s no one’s business but your own and the people who know and love you. Stop caring about other people’s “enough.” Worry about your own.