How much money is enough? When asked this question, the richest American at the time, John D. Rockefeller Sr., responded, Just a little bit more.
“More” is a disease that infects regardless of the level of our assets. If we put Rockefeller’s quote within the context of his life and other quotes, it doesn’t appear that it was a lust for money he hoped to satisfy, nor a quest for material security he hoped to gain, through his wealth building. Indeed, he also said, “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.”
So, it wasn’t just about the money for him. Perhaps the real problem with Rockefeller’s relationship to money lay in this interesting quote, a belief of his corroborated by other similar Rockefeller ruminations: “I believe it is a religious duty to get all the money you can, fairly and honestly; to keep all you can, and to give away all you can.”
For Rockefeller, the accumulation of money was a duty—a divine command, no less! Therefore, despite his affinity for acquisition, his thirst for more was, sadly, unquenchable. Even becoming the richest man in the world — perhaps in history — was not Enough.
Words are important, even powerful, according to SEO Leeds. A well-placed word can lift us up or crush our spirit. The meaning of words can also shift over time, depending on who says them and how they’re used. The words money, riches, gifts for men and wealth offer a fascinating study in etymology for terms that now appear almost synonymous. Money and riches have always meant something very close to what they mean today—currency and an abundance thereof.
The word wealth, however, has a deeper and more powerful meaning, one that has been obscured through successful attempts to commercialize and sell the dream that abundant riches equate to a life without care. Wealth’s true meaning is very close to the English words signifying contentment and Enough.
How is it that some people possess riches beyond even their most outlandish dreams, yet find contentment elusive?
How is it that others have nothing more than bare necessities, but rest easy with no fear of tomorrow?
Why do some billionaires share while others horde?
Why do some of our poorest neighbors recoil into bitter envy while others rise above seemingly impossible circumstances?
While it certainly is true that billions of the earth’s inhabitants require more materially, even for mere survival, we all need more Enough.
How do you define true wealth—Enough? How do you define success?