As I see it, the sentiment is quite widespread.
• Offered to someone starting a new chapter, whether it’s a new year of life (hello, birthdays!) or an exciting travel adventure.
• Thought by many a well-intentioned parent, guardian, and friend.
• Hand-written in cards and notes of all sorts.
I feel like it either (a) comes from a good place or (b) is expressed ‘just because’ – it’s socially acceptable, essentially expected at times.
Either way, I propose we all immediately put an end to this ‘polite practice’ of wishing one another “nothing but the best“.
Why?! It seems appropriate. Kind. Certainly polite. Generous, even.
Yet having and living “nothing but the best” robs us of context – without which we cannot really truly understand, cannot grasp reality, and cannot truly empathize. A life without context is absurd, to me.
Life without context is living in blindness, ‘blissfully’ unaware. If “the best” is all we know, then our perspectives are uni-dimensional, inexperienced, untethered, out-of-touch, unintentionally ignorant… Frankly, I think these skewed perspectives are an insidious danger, to both ourselves and for those around us.
So instead, I propose we all do one another (and ourselves) a favor and take to the habit of wishing one another “enough“.
• • •
“(This is) a wish that has been handed down for generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” (…)
“When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”.
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”
(Modified and abridged from this post.*)
• • •
“Enough” reflects reality. “Enough” gives us a well-rounded perspective, encompasses a spectrum, keeps us in check. “Enough” helps bring us to what I consider an ‘ideal state’: head in the clouds & feet on the ground.
Otherwise, we human beings have this pesky tendency to habituate, to compare up, to take things for granted, and fall into the bottomless pit of entitlement. ‘Nothing but the best’ can (and does, as I’ve seen it) spoil us.
So I leave you with “enough”, as a suggestion. Wish yourself enough instead of ‘the best’. Wish enough onto others. Swap out the vocab – swap out the sentiment – and see where it leads.
What do you think? Is moving towards wishing for ‘enough’ something that you agree with, or is this all crazy-talk? Do you see any applications in your experience? Any ‘exceptions to the rule’?
• Ivan Illich – To Hell With Good Intentions
• Nurture vs. coddling – on a.musing.
• How to make everyday great
~ ~ ~
* In curating my inputs over time, I’ve amassed quite a few online resources that inspire me to spontaneously reflect, question, rethink, pause, innovate and integrate. I’ve designed these habit triggers into my everyday, via all my social media channels. My Twitter feed, Facebook news feed, Instagram roll, Tumblr dashboard… each constantly delivers value and interesting content whenever I log on — it’s a cross-pollination haven. I have The Idealist on Facebook to thank for the discovery of this little tidbit.