Freedom from Scarcity

Back in my post The Soul of Money: An Introduction, I briefly discussed Lynne Twist’s take on the difference between having a scarcity vs. a sufficiency mentality from her book The Soul of Money:Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life. Really quickly: she says that a scarcity mentality is believing there isn’t enough for everyone, and a sufficiency mentality is believing that there is enough (even more than enough) for everyone.

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I’d like to explore this idea of scarcity a little further here today. Twist says “scarcity as a chronic sense of inadequacy about life becomes the very place from which we think and act and live in the world. It shapes our deepest sense of ourselves, and becomes the lens through which we experience life.” (pg. 45)
YOWZA! I don’t know about you but the idea of looking at life, our selves, or our world in this perpetual state of lacking don’t bring me much joy. This is the “myth” that Twist looks to dispel. She says that there are 3 myths to this “Lie of Scarcity.”
  1. There’s not enough: we’ll do anything (good or bad) to get enough for ourselves and overcome this lacking feeling and fear of not having as much as everyone else. Ex. working in a job we hate, lying to others, etc.
  2. More is better: we can never have enough and are never fulfilled because we’re always searching for more. This stops us from appreciating what we have. This also causes us to judge ourselves and others based on the resources we have or on our achievements. (This one hit me hard!) Those with more are worth more, those with less are worth less, regardless of what they have to offer the world.
  3. That’s just the way it is: we better join the race because it’s not going to change, and we don’t want to be left behind! This excuses our behavior and ignorance. (ex. buying goods that are produced by companies who treat their workers unjustly)
This little portion of her book blew my mind and completely changed my perspective about money and life! The falsehoods of these myths are so easy to see in your life if you just look.
  1. I am enough. I have enough. There is nothing lacking in me. If they get nothing else from me (but let’s hope they do!), this is the message I hope my children get. We have everything we need inside of us to navigate life and get us through any difficulties. Looking at them shows me a) the abundance in my life and b) at the core, we are perfect. I don’t believe there is anything lacking in them, why would I believe that about myself or anyone else?
  2. There’s enough to go around. I have what I need. This may not seem true to everyone, but at the very least we have what we need within to get what we need. If KonMari taught me anything, it’s that we probably need less than we think.
  3. Quoting Lynne Twist “…there isn’t a way it is or a way it isn’t. There is only a way to choose to act and what we choose to make of circumstances.” Nothing is hopeless, we can change, and in turn, change the world. If I refrain from buying chocolate that’s harvested by companies who take advantage of people, that’s one less sale contributing to the cycle. Imaging what would happen if we all did!
What are the places in your life where you see the falsehood of scarcity? Share it here or on Facebook!

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