Knowing when you do not need any more

Knowing when you do not need any more. Acting just enough. Saying enough. Stopping when there is enough. Some may be wasted, nature is prodigal. Harmony is not bought with parsimoniousness.

Yet stopping is “going on.” To cling to something and want more of it, to use it more, to squeeze enjoyment out of it. This is to “stop” and not “go on.” But to leave it alone at the right time, this is the right stopping, the right going on. To leave a thing alone before you have had anything to do with it, if it is for your use, to leave it without use, is not “stopping,” it is not even beginning. Use it to go on.

To be great is to go on. To go on is to be far. To be far is to return.

~ Thomas Merton, Journal entry, May 16 1961