Opinion: A little is enough


“Let’s hurry and get going so that we can hurry and get home.” It is a classic Dad line. On its face, it makes little sense. If we don’t want to be away from the house, why go? Even if we must go, there is scant evidence that leaving earlier will mean that we are away any less than if we leave later. Some of us put up the Christmas decorations earlier each year but by New Year’s Day would pitch a fit if hearing a carol. We come to the banquet table starving, eat more than our fill and leave with some uncomfortable regret about the second piece of pie.

We humans are infected with wanderlust. More is better. New is better. Our closets are filled with items that we are unlikely to ever wear and many more shoes than feet.  We acquire, move, consume and explore like our lives depend upon it. For a few contented souls, rocking on the porch from dawn to dusk is quite enough. But most of us are possessed with a notion that settling is dangerous. Perhaps our ancestors came to know that survival is linked to finding a more reliable source of fresh water or seeking a mate outside of our own shallow gene pool. Today, our journeys are more likely to help us flourish in impressing others on social media than in keeping us alive.

Is there a space between not going at all and going so often that relevance is lost? Can we love Christmas without being overwhelmed by it? Can we feast at the table without abusing our stomachs? There is a big space between immobility and unreliability. And moving around a bit is likely good for us. Still, shouldn’t we enjoy where we are while we are there?