Eat the olive. And be satisfied.

Seneca, in his second letter (in the collection I'm enjoying), references his "enemy", Epicurus by offering this quote: “contented poverty is an honorable estate.”

In his Stoic ninja move, he responds elegantly: "Indeed, if it be contented, it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor."

This reminds me of my friend and teacher Marc Gafni's tale, in Mystery of Love, of the Babylonian wisdom texts that speak of gratitude for only "an olive's worth of food". Marc, referencing the mystic master Aaron of Karlin, notes that "the feeling of blessing emerges from the ability to experience the fullness of divine reality in every fraction of goodness. When I fully receive anything, no matter how small, it is enough to make me full. This is the lover's art of receiving and giving blessing. It is the secret of fulfillment."

So, with the strange entanglement of days named "Thanksgiving", "Black Friday", "Cyber Monday", and "Giving Tuesday," perhaps it is enough to eat the single olive that each of us has been served and say, as my friend Jerry Jud famously says, "I'm satisfied! I'm satisfied!"