The Myth of Scarcity: That’s Just The Way It Is


Some time ago I started sharing some of that which spoke to me and showed up as worth sharing with you from Lynne Twist’s book: The Soul of Money. As it has been a little while since I last wrote, it may be worth revisiting the first two posts in this conversation:

The Myth of Scarcity: There’s Not Enough

The Myth of Scarcity: More Is Better

Ok, let’s listen to Lynne speak-share the third toxic myth that constitutes an important underpinning for the myth of scarcity. 

Toxic Myth 3: That’s Just The Way It Is

“….. that’s just the way it is, and there’s no way out. There’s not enough to go around, more is definitely better, and the people who have more are always people other than us. It’s not fair but we’d better play the game because that’s just the way it is and it’s hopeless, helpless, unequal, unfair world where you can never get out of this trap.

That’s just the way it is is just another myth, but it’s probably the one with the most grip, because you can always make a case for it. When something has always been a certain way,  and traditions, assumptions, or habits make it resistant to change then it seems logical …. that the way it is is the way it will stay. This is when the blindness, the numbness, the trance, and, underneath it all, the resignation of scarcity sets in. Resignation makes us feel hopeless, helpless, and cynical. Resignation also keeps us in line……. Resignation keeps us from questioning how much we’ll compromise ourselves or exploit others for the money available to us in a job, or career, a personal relationship or a business opportunity. 

That’s just the way it is justifies the greed, the prejudice and inaction that scarcity fosters in our relationship with money and the rest of the human race……

We say we feel bad about these and other inequities in the world, but the problems seem so deeply rooted as to be insurmountable and we resign ourselves to that’s just the way it is, declaring ourselves helpless to change things. In that resignation, we abandon our human potential, and the possibility of contributing to a thriving, equitable, healthy world……

We have to be willing to let go of that’s just the way it is, even if just for a moment, to consider the possibility that there isn’t a way it is or a way it isn’t. There’s the way we choose to act and what we choose to make or our circumstance.”

In my next post, I will continue this conversation and share with you how the possibilities open to us are shaped and closed off by the life sentences imposed on us – by our cultural practices and by us.

And finally

Before I end this conversation, I pose a question or two for us to consider:

  • granted that it is the way it is and it’s not the way it’s not, who/what caused it be the way it is and the way it’s not? 
  • has it always been the way it is and is no right now – across time, across cultures? And if it has not been as it is and is not right now, then who/what caused the shifts in the way that it is and is not?  
  • what would show up in my living, your living, our living if I/you showed up from the stand that “I have a say in the way that it is and is not, the way it will be and not be.”?

 

The Myth of Scarcity: More Is Better


Today, I am continuing on from the last post where I started this conversation on scarcity and shared Lynne Twist speaking as spoken in The Soul Money.

“Toxic Myth 2: More Is Better

The second toxic myth is that more is better. More of anything is better than what we have. It’s the logical response if you fear that there is not enough, but more is better drives a competitive culture of accumulation, acquisition and greed that only heightens fear and quickens the pace of the race……..

In truth, the rush for more distances us from experiencing the deeper value of what we acquire or already have.”

Let’s just consider food. When was the last time you and I actually were present with the food that we were eating? Did you an I really notice-appreciate the texture-taste of the food and the movement of the mouth and teeth? I have fasted for the last month. And I can say that during this month I appreciated ALL that I ate and drank. And that was so totally  different to my experience when I was eating and drinking whatever I wanted when I wanted it.

Let’s continue to listen to Lynne as she talks about the toxic myth of more is better:

“More is better distracts us from living more mindfully and richly with what we have.

More is better is a chase with no end and a race without winners…… no matter how far you go, or how fast, or how many other people you pass up, you can’t win. In the mindset of scarcity even too much is not enough……Some of the people with fortunes enough to last three lifetimes spend their days and nights worrying about losing money on the stock market, about being ripped off or conned or not having enough for their retirement.

The chase of more is better ……. saps our energy, erodes our opportunities for fulfilment. When we buy into the promise that more is better, we can never arrive. Wherever we are, it is never enough because more is always better. People who follow that credo…….which is all of us to some degree, are doomed to life that is never fulfilled.

More is better misguides us in a deeper way. It leads us to define ourselves by our financial success and external achievements. We judge others based on what they have and how much they have, and miss the immeasurable inner gifts they bring to life……….In the pursuit of more we overlook the fullness and completeness that are already within us waiting to be discovered. 

The belief that we need to possess, and possess more than the other person or company or nation, is the driving force for much of the violence and war, corruption and exploitation on Earth.

The unquestioned, unchecked drive for more fuels an unsustainable economy, culture, and way of being that has failed us by blocking access to the deeper, more meaningful aspects of our lives and ourselves.”

In the next post, I will share with you Lynne’s third and final toxic myth. She says that this third myth is the one with most grip and it occurs to me that she is correct. Until then be great.