THE BLOG
05/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Imagination of Enough

I'm sure you've heard of voluntary simplicity, but have you ever thought about it in relation to your own life? Probably. I know I have. In those evaluation questionnaires about my carbon footprint, and various other ways of thrift, I come out passably.

But then I caught myself ordering drug store sorts of things online the other day, adding items to the order so that I'd reach their free shipping minimum, and it gave me pause. Actually, it gave me a question.

What's enough?

Do I really need five tubes of toothpaste to make sure I don't run out? Or to meet the free shipping promise? It turned out, I didn't. Or to feel secure in some twisted emotional way? Truth is, I really don't.

I looked up the word enough in the OED, my favorite etymological tome. It comes from Old Teutonic roots that mean is it right or needful?

Think about it. All over the planet right now, people, in one way or another, are saying, "Enough."

Enough corruption.
Enough outrageous profits.
Enough hanky-panky.
Enough genocide.
Enough epidemics.
Enough war.

So, what's enough? What's right or needful at this time, in this place, for each life?

I think the concept of enough-ness applied by each person to her or his own life is the key to our economic and spiritual recovery plan. Each of us gets to decide what's enough for ourselves -- and not for anyone else.

This determination about personal enough-ness is the gem at the core of voluntary simplicity. There's a clever bumpersticker that reads: Live Simply, So Others May Simply Live. And this is where imagination comes in.

It's our very worst imaginations that tell us we must fear not-enough-ness. But imagination is like electricity. It's neutral. Just as you can use electricity to dry your hair, or electrocute yourself, you can use imagination for creating enough-ness or not-enough-ness. You get to pick -- especially on the level of imagination.

Slow it down and say it aloud ... Image A Nation. It's up to us, each one, to set an example of how to live and think and choose as though we each have enough. Enough, dear one, is a decision, a mindset, a way of being.

So, what's enough? It's what right or needful.

The fastest way for us all to get to enough is to live as if we are, do and have enough, and to give whatever excess of right or needful we have to others. As we each begin to do this, we will be imaging a nation of enough.

By focusing on what we do have, rather than on what we don't have, we will return to optimism, prosperity, and peace.

Visit Susan Corso's website at www.susancorso.com.