For the sake of remaining ‘at the top of our game’ we maintain a system that continues to celebrate acquisitiveness at the expense of enjoyment.” Robert & Edward Sidelsky
There is, it seems, this compulsion to grow, to do better, to improve. I am not sure I can call it a “natural” or innate” compulsion as opposed to one ingrained in us by societal pressures. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the financial or corporate world, where there is a constant push to grow, do better, to improve. There is this push for economic growth. A $50,000,000,000 company should be striving to become a $100,000,000 company. A 1% growth needs to be a higher rate of growth. We can’t just maintain the status quo in a good economy (so we call that “stagnation” and attach the negative image of putrid, scum covered water) but must strive for “economic growth” (imaging flowers budding out in springtime). Indeed, the phrase” good enough” even if thought, is rarely uttered.
This all seems summed up in this from Pope Paul VI: “What is the meaning of this never-ending, breathless pursuit of a progress that always eludes one just when one believes one has conquered it all sufficiently in order to enjoy it in peace?”
To me, this conjures up the image of running or cycling, looking ahead while steadfastly climbing a hill, focused on getting to the top – only to find out when I get there that there is yet another hill in front, and another, and another. Or borrowing from one of my favorite sayings, the image of climbing the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning on the wrong wall.
The key phrase that gets glossed over in all this – “enjoy it in peace.” Onward!