Sunday, December 14, 2008

So Much Abundance

Earlier in my life, I used to have huge collections of books, music and art. After a while, I came to realize that I could live without so much of it. There was a time when I had so many CDs that if I played different ones every day all year, I still could not hear them all.

It's not that I just went shopping all the time. I was a music reviewer for publications and got lots of free demo copies. The flood of new music was just so huge, that I really had to make split second decisions on what to review or not, because the publications only had room for so many reviews, so I would give it a quick listen and if I liked it right away, I would try and fit it in. If I didn't like it right away, it was probably set aside forever. Of course, I would always find time to play my favorites again and then I realized that out of 2,000 CDs, maybe 100 got played a lot.

That was an awakening experience. I enjoyed having and hearing it, but when you get right down to it, even if a person only bought all the things I gave good reviews to over the years, they would have more than they knew what to do with. Over time, I gave away a bunch to my friends and traded some at used music stores. And I still had tons.

It brings up the whole question of how much is enough? Sometimes I would just sit in front of my collection and try and select something I wanted to listen to, and find myself not even knowing where to start. To use another example, suppose you were at a buffet and they had all kinds of good food on it. So you try the things that look most appealing, then you go back and try a few more things. And you want more of the things you really liked, yet you see so many more things you have not even tasted yet. You feel full and can't even taste any more, yet it is tantalizing because there is so much more to taste.

Now I have only a small portion left of what I had, and I listen to only some of them over and over. 100 or 200 CDs is a lot of music. When you look at what you have, how would things change if you just kept what you really listened to. You would have more room on your shelf, wouldn't you? It is amazing how the abundance can be overwhelming. Less is more, when you really enjoy and appreciate it.