I found a heart-wrenching and a heart-warming poem on Pinterest and traced it back to several websites while searching for the writer. A book called “I Wish You Enough: Embracing Life’s Most Valuable Moments One Wish at a Time” (2009, Thomas Nelson Publisher) by Bob Perks popped up. So I bought it. The inspirational stories in Perks’ book contains eight values for contentment in a world of abundance that we often take for granted.
Perks wrote the following poem after listening to a mother and daughter saying what they believed would be their final goodbye at an airport. Being seriously ill, the mother wanted to give a gift of words — full of love, longing, and life.
I wish you enough
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
My wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
Sadness and sorrow flows from the poem. Yet, hope and happiness for the future is imparted from mother to daughter. The words are raw and real. Life is not to be lived in a Pollyanna bubble, but in a world of both pain and pleasure. And she wished enough for her daughter.
Several years ago, I made a comment to my missionary friend about the poverty in America and she stated, “The poorest person in the United States is rich compared to people in Third World countries.” She had lived and worked overseas in remote villages.
Humans come into this world with nothing. And humans go out of this world with nothing. Why do we believe we need so much stuff between birth and death? Why do we work to accumulate lots of possessions? Why do we own so many sheds, garages, barns, and storage buildings? Then we rent more storage space.
Store shelves are full of trinkets and treasures we must have. More. More. More. So we buy bins, boxes, and baskets. We put boxes full of objects under beds and in basements.
Sometimes we throw away and give away things. Then we have room for new things.
Television commercials, magazine ads, and billboard advertisements entice us. Buy. Buy. Buy. Click a button on a business website and wait for packages to arrive. Make a deal and squeal.
Does stacking and storing stuff really keep people employed? Our planet is overwhelmed with plastic pollution. Consume. Consume. Consume. Where is the boundary between reasonable consumption and over-consumption?
In the final days, the mother did not speak of inheritance. She spoke not of gold nor silver. The mother wished contentment for her daughter. Perhaps life had taught her that the love of money is the root of discontentment. Wisdom was passed to another generation.
Readers, I wish you enough.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.