“Have you eaten today?”
Thirty years ago my fellow grad students from mainland China told me this was the greeting used by Chinese citizens after the Cultural Revolution, the equivalent of our current “How are you?”.
Do you have shelter? A good roof over your head and your own bed? Do you have clothing for the elements? Are you warm? At a sketchy time in my life I asked myself such questions in order to keep myself righted and on track. Life was in transition and I was attempting to make my way. It was easy to lose perspective.
As the daily news reports climate disaster warnings along with dire predictions of what we humans have done and are still doing to make our planet uninhabitable, I find myself returning to those questions. Whatever my politics, or yours, we are witnessing a world where the endless pursuit of “goods” has put our planet in peril yet greed is still rampant. The inequality gap widens and widens again.
What makes so many of us feel the need for so much stuff?
I am finding that a very positive result of aging is the liberation of “you can’t take it with you”. My version of prayer can be summed in one word: enough. Money enough to meet the basic needs of food, warmth, shelter, health care. After that, I am responsible for my thoughts, happy or sad. My choice.
And to “Enough”? Add love, the most difficult “enough” there is.
Note: The chicken was photographed on Vieques, Puerto Rico in the winter of 2015 before Hurricane Maria made “enough” (always a struggle on that poor island) a very tough goal.