Lao Tau wrote almost 2,800 years that. "Only those who know when enough is enough can ever have enough." So apparently this question long pre-dates our current philosophical angst in the affluent west about materialism and the use of retail therapy as the popular solution the that angst. Lao Tau, often called the earliest anarchist, offered his solutions in China during the 6th century BC. His thoughts and words about opposing authority and hierarchical organization have inspired many memorable minds to this very day.
One of the most famous anarchists inspired by the great Taoist philosopher Lao Tau was Peter Kropotkin who's political focus on local production led to his view that a country should strive for self-sufficiency – manufacture its own goods and grow its own food, lessening dependence on imports emphasises exactly the same points that The Mud Report has been making recently. In Kropotkin's 1902 book 'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution' he uses his training as a scientist when he became one of the first to argue that it was an evolutionary emphasis on cooperation instead of competition that defined the long term survival of organisms His co-operation of the fittest concept has become the most widely accepted model of evolutionary biologists.
Attempting to measure enough is, for each of us, a Rorschach test wherein we can examine how and where we've chosen to draw our ephemeral line between wants and needs. Ephemeral because our individual choices are transitory, transient and subject to change. If our goal is happiness and our current choices aren't making us happy, it makes no sense to believe that 'more' will turn the tide. More consumption, more stuff, more-more-more is an endless ocean that can never be filled, there can never be enough 'more'. Living simply and wanting less is the key to knowing when enough is enough.
Living simply includes co-operation with the circle of life we are immersed within and doing our best to hand on to the next generation a world and a life worth living. Being part of the miracle in the garden has taught me that the single greatest service each of us can provide to our planet, our families and ourselves, is to grow our own organic food from non-hybrid seeds. To save our own seed in turn, and in so doing be part of the future solution to the present day destruction being sown by GMO's, agri-business and bio-technology corporations. Perhaps being a small part of this one great service can be enough.