By John Naish. Hodder & Stoughton. 2008.
Reviewed by Anelise Vaz
During our evolutionary history, our brains have been programmed to instinctively want more and more of anything we can get. The more food, clothing, information and tools we could gather, the higher our chances of surviving in the many times of scarcity. And we keep chasing for more, even now, in modern times, when we have more of everything than we can ever use, enjoy or afford. This unconscious behavior keeps cluttering our lives and homes with stuff we don’t need, gets us sick, tired, overweight, angry, in dept and still unsatisfied. Even more, the overabundance of disposable things generated by this exaggerated consumption cycle has a huge impact on our environment.
John Naish makes the case for adopting the art of “enoughness”. He describes how our Stone-Age brains are hardwired to have an infinite appetite for any resources we can gather, and how this instinct is exploited by a profit-driven world that wants to encourage us to always want more. He argues that we have lost sense of what is enough in our lives and explains how liberating it is when we learn not to let our culture of excess drive our choices.
In the ten chapters on topics such as “Enough Food”, “Enough Stuff”, “Enough Hurry”, “Enough Options” and “Enough Information”, he explores the problem and gives us advice on how to recognize our overload and practice “enoughness”. The book concludes with a chapter called “Never Enoughs”, in which the author explains that there are some nonmaterial things that we can’t ever get enough of, such as gratitude, generosity and social connectedness. These are proven to bring greater happiness and increase our longevity.
The book is a thought-provoking and interesting read, especially for those on the minimalist/ simplicity road who want to be encouraged to shed the excesses in their lives. Book cover Image: https://www.hodder.co.uk/books/