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: There’s Not Enough

Today, I share with you passages from The Soul of Money, a book from Lynne Twist. Why? Because in it she discloses and deals with three particularly important myths that live us. That constrains the possibilities we see and limit our expression, way of being.  I invite you to listen freshly and deeply. Let’s begin.

What I have found is that no matter where we are in the political, economic, or financial spectrum, the myths and mindset of scarcity create an underlying fear …..

The mindset of scarcity is not something that we intentionally created …….. It was here before us .……. perpetuated in the myths and language of our money culture.

Scarcity is a lie, but it has been passed down as truth with a powerful that insists on itself, demands compliance, discourages doubt or questioning.

When we unpack the myth of scarcity, we find three central myths …..

Toxic Myth 1: There’s Not Enough

The first prevailing myth is that there’s not enough. There’s not enough to go around. Everyone can’t make it. Somebody’s going to be left out……..There’s not enough food……..air….time…

There’s not enough becomes the reason we do the work that brings us down or the reason we do things to each other that we are not proud of. There’s not enough generates a fear that drives us to make sure that we’re not the person……who gets crushed, marginalised, or left out.

Once we define our world as deficient, the total of our life energy, everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do…….becomes an expression of an effort to overcome this sense of lack and the fear of losing to others and being left out……

If there’s not enough for everyone, then taking care of yourself and your own, even at others’ expense, seems unfortunate, but unavoidable and somehow valid…….

The deficiency and fear reflect in the way that we conduct our lives and the systems and institutions we create to control access to any resource we perceive as valuable or limited. ….

In our own communities, we respond to the fear that there’s not enough by creating systems that favour us or exclude others from access to basic resources such as clean water, good schools, adequate health care, or safe housing.

And in our own families, there’s not enough drives us to buy more than we need……of somethings, to value, favour, or curry favour with people on the basis of their value to us in relation to money, rather than qualities of character.

I ask you to take a moment and really connect with Lynne’s speaking. How is the myth of scarcity and in particular, there’s not enough, constraining who you are being, the stand that you take, what you do or do not do, what you have or do not have?

I ask you to consider if ‘stuff’ is scarce or is it that we make it scarce?  I ask you to consider why many people in the USA cannot get adequate healthcare, yet people in France get great healthcare. I ask you to consider why it is that we let millions thirst, starve and die. Is it because we lack the means? Or is it that we simply take it for granted that there’s not enough for everyone? So it is perfectly logical, and OK, to let millions suffer and die.

I will share with you the second toxic myth in a follow up post. Until then I invite you to invite abundance into your being. I invite you to show up from the context of abundance. How about starting out with an abundance of listening, validation and connection. Just listen, really listen to the people that you encounter every day. Listen consciously from a context of curiosity, of wonder, of connecting with the other person. And through your unconditional listening simply validate that person just as he is and is not. If you do that I guarantee that you generate connection and let happiness into your life. I invite you to take me up on my guarantee.

And finally, Gautam, I hear you.