How do you know when you’ve had “enough?”

Not everything, all the time, completely, forever. Just enough. Enough to start, finish, or simply maintain.

Unfortunately, foodbabies only appear after it’s too late. And, if your satiety’s gauged solely by whether the buffet’s still open, you’re screwed. Like the hypothalamus-damaged rat, you’ll eat until you die.

— Enough. A very short essay about chow mein, condemned men, and information gluttony that I wrote for Seth Godin’s What Matters Now project.

I see this situation manifested at work. Some of the engineers I know -- well paid, well fed engineers -- go wild when there is free food available. The cry goes up via email and instant messenger: "free food by the printers" or "free food in the kitchen."

Free is nice. But. I have a co-worker that can't understand my disinterest. She wants to know why I don't chase the free food  -- donuts, cookies, etc. -- when she announces it.

I have a simple, honest reason for this which is, I think, why she doesn't believe me. I tell her: I don't want anything right now. I don't want free food. I don't want paid food. I don't want food. Nothing.

Few people seem to share the same trait. Mine is from backpacking: there may be room in your backpack, but why carry useless weight to the top of the mountain? Another reason for this attitude is that my parents keep so many things that they don't use anymore. What is the benefit? They have their reasons, but I don't need the ballast.

The Cult of Free is alluring, but what is the benefit of chasing after free things just because they exist, not because they serve a need or even a want? A quasi-political harangue. A guide to up-and-coming stocks. Another story about A Famous Golfer. A list of things you can do to improve your life. Is it just more junk for the attic? More padding for the waist?

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