Enough is Enough!
With all the bad news in the world of late, I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought the title of this piece was a cry of exasperation. But it’s not…or at least not in the way we might expect.
“Enough is enough” is also a reminder to us that if at any time we can honestly say that we have enough (time, love, money or whatever it is that we want and need) then we have all that we need. And that is where the exasperation comes in. So many of us fail to have peace in our lives because we cannot accept that enough is truly enough. Instead we live on the treadmill of acquisition, always working to stash away just a bit more for a rainy day, only to find that our list of “perceived needs” will always expand to require whatever we have and leave us wanting more.
Will and I have named our home “Dayenu” which is Hebrew word used during the Passover Seder. It means roughly “it would have been enough.” If God had only brought the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt Dayenu! It would have been enough. But God also led them through the desert and preserved them from the arrows and chariots of the avenging Egyptian army. Dayenu! That too would have been enough. But God does not stop there. God continually leads and shelters and provides for us.
We have chosen to name our home Dayenu as a daily reminder that we have enough, and that we should give thanks and praise to God for what we have.
But there is more. Dayenu is also the antidote to being captive to fear. And fear is at the root of nearly all the problems of the world. Those who have more than enough but will not share are enslaved by fear. Those who hate or distrust others simply because they are different are enslaved by fear. Those who actively or tacitly accept societal norms which produce ghettos and promote poverty, illness and joblessness are enslaved by fear. And those who know better but do not speak out for justice and peace and most assuredly enslaved by fear. Dayenu, the recognition and genuine gratitude for the blessing that we have, will inevitably lead us to open our hearts and hands to the needs of others.
And just imagine how much good could come from such an attitude. Without the fear that there is not enough to go around, we could find ways to provide food, shelter, education and opportunity for everyone who stands in need. We could learn to approach one another with respect and to invest the necessary time and energy required to make our cities safe for everyone, and our schools places where students are well prepared meaningful work and lives of productive self-sufficiency.
Let’s try this. Let’s admit the possibility that we do have enough and give thanks. Than let’s take some of our abundance and share it with those who truly do not have enough.
Hurrah for you. I love the whole of “Dayenu”, and have for many years since I heard it at a Passover Seder. What a great concept. Every time I say the word, or explain the concept to someone, my heart rejoices. May your “Dayenu” be filled with shalom! Love to you.