When is it enough?

Some questions lend themselves to quantitative, solid answers. One can calculate the right place to put the line in the sand, and it will be provably correct. Or, if placed incorrectly, the error itself can be measured, and corrected with precision.

These are questions that can be solved once, at a moment in time, and then left behind. A question like this intersects with your personal timeline once: you impact each other (you and the question), and then your timeline goes on without it.

Some questions have softer, fuzzier answers, answers which change with the angle of the light, answers that don't like to be looked at in the eye. You don't get to answer these once and move on. These questions are the ones to make a life with, to integrate into your timeline. These questions are reasons to continue, because they are a conversation, and every answer summons a new question, and every question summons a host of possible answers.

A litmus test for this came to me kinda recently: if a question addresses a spectrum, and it asks one to place a certain point on the spectrum with the assurance that the point be placed correctly, the whole thing is a red herring. Back up and reposition the whole spectrum (the whole spectrum) such that the entire thing can be addressed at once, allowing as many answers to emerge as there are observers.

"When have we made it accessible and inclusive enough? When will we have we paid our employees enough? The boundaries between plant and animal and person are weird as hell; when will our food be ethical enough? When will we have cared enough?"

Questions like this feel like a plea for rest. "I'm trying, I care! But it's hard, and I can't do this forever! I can't find the right answer! What do I do? How do I not be evil? I can't hold the whole world, and it's not a matter of willingness. I care, but how can I do it well, and do it again tomorrow, and the next day, for my whole life? How can I care and also make sure I'm okay too?"

The answer for this only exists across time. It does not exist at a single point in time.

The answer: Make a life with it. Move in with the question, make your home in the spectrum. Become aware of it, grow intimate. Go to sleep with it, wake up with it -- and let it go so it can live its own life, so it can decide if it wants a life with you, too.

It will never be "done", but pay attention whenever that question comes up. It's an important signal. Wondering when it'll be enough is a question that is only ever spoken from within an unsustainable pattern -- because underneath this question is that plea for relief. Red herring. Red herring red herring red herring.

These questions are never solved by shouldering through it to some finish line. There is no finish line, so don't treat it like a race.

Back up, start over, get vulnerable, offer what you can, listen for what you can hear, let what you hear inform what you offer, and get better at hearing over time. In time, the ideas/communities/entities on the other side will begin to support you, as you support them. You can live a life together, and you can help each other grow.

When the concept of "enough" is questioned, and the entire scene changes to obviate the very concept of "enough" (or "not enough") while building the health of the individual and the whole, ... well, you know. "Enough" won't make sense then, but we'll be following the infinite arc inwards toward and around complete health, and complete rest. We'll never hit that center on the head. That'd be the end of the line, and this line does not end. Instead, we are bending that arc inward, always circling. Feeling that arc bend inward harder, falling faster, leaning into the gravity well and riding the curve, that direction feels good -- and honestly, that's all anyone ever wanted anyway.

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