Friday 22 March 2013
John Naish, Enough
If I were to write a book at this stage of my life, it would be very, very similar to Enough.
John Naish attacked all of my favourite bogeymen. Overeating. Overwork. Overstuffing our lives with... well, stuff. Overtaxing Earth's resources. Plus some other phenomena that cannot be conveniently represented by words beginning with over-, but are just as noxious, such as our TV addiction, self-help industry, illusory customer choices and cultural trends compelling us to strive for more, forever more.
Hundreds of books have been written about each of the abovementioned ills, but rarely one gets across a title that manages to target them all (on less than three hundred pages, too). Yet, the common denominator is all too easy to spot. We seem to live under the delusion that growth, in whatever application, can be eternal. Well, it can't. There are such things as limits and no amount of wishful thinking can magic them away.
According to Naish, our brains are the main culprit here. As a species, we evolved in pretty tough environment and we needed the insatiable curiosity and greed to simply survive. Unfortunately, the arrival of consumer society progressed quicker than evolution and we didn't have enough time to adapt. Our brains still want more of everything, while the most logical step in our drowning-in-trash circumstances is to say enough, loud and clear.
Why? If the vision of carbonised planet doesn't persuade you right away, take the trouble of reading Enough. Naish lists tens of reasons why we really should reconsider our craving for more of everything, and these are very compelling reasons.
Enough's worthy message is delivered in readable language. Naish stays human in his appeals, somehow managing to avoid preaching and boring the reader to death. He talks about ordinary things, situations that most of us will find familiar, generously peppering them with jokes and chatty commentary.
If you decide to practise enoughism, the book supplies copious advice. Tips, tricks, suggestions, inspirations, it's all there so you can design your own pick'n'mix of planet-saving strategies. As the author himself suggests, choose what works best for you.
I am tempted to end this review with some grim prognosis for the future but I'm sure you've heard it all. Write your own 'reform or else' speech if you wish, I'll just leave you with a promise that Enough is a really tasty and wise piece of social criticism. Enough said.