How Much is Enough

A few years ago, at the heyday of our professional efficiency and high reimbursement for open heart surgery, I had a conversation with one of my fellow cardiac surgeons. We talked about how much we enjoyed this specialty and all the perks coming with it. At the certain point we came to discuss our financial situation, and I got the impression that he wasn’t happy. I asked him “Don’t you have enough money?” And he, with the most serious facial expression, stressing how strongly he feels about it, said “There’s never enough money”.

I always thought that these are very unlucky people. From the beginning, they are setting themselves for a failure. By their own criteria, such a goal is unattainable. And the results show in everyday life. They are always unhappy and never satisfied. Not only that, they are making lives of their families and coworkers miserable.

On the flip side, there’s a sensation of being content with what one has, which extends beyond material belongings. You just can’t lose.  

Life flows.

And then I came across of poem by Kurt Vonnegut:

True story,  Word of Honor:

Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer

Now dead,

and I were at the party given by billionaire

on Shelter Island.

I said,”Joe,how does it make you feel

to know that our host only yesterday

may have made more money

than your novel ‘Catch-22’

has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said,”I’ve  got something he can never have.”

And I said,”What on earth could that be , Joe?”

And Joe said,”The knowledge,that I’ve got enough,”

Not bad!  Rest in peace!

Couldn’t say it any better myself.

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