From “You or Me” To “You and Me”

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It feels like we live in a world of scarcity.  Our whole culture, especially in the West, is based on survival and competition.  Success is defined by getting to the top, at the expense of everyone else.  Our basic economic theories, social systems and institutions are based on managing scarcity.  It even pervades what we think of ourselves: “I don’t have enough, I am not good enough…”  It’s time to move from this exclusive way of thinking to a more inclusive approach.  It’s time to realize that there is enough to go around.

When our foundational mindset is that there isn’t enough for us all, then we hoard.  We take more than we need.  We think consuming is the way to live.  We saw this play out in the pandemic, or when natural disasters strike.  The shelves are wiped clean as everybody scrambles to hoard as much as they can for only themselves and their own inner circles with so little consideration for others.  And we also see this in the wealth gap widening, as the uber rich consolidate even more of the global wealth.  This is essentially a life based in fear.

This way of being is not sustainable.  We only have to look at human history to see that living exclusively leads to chaos, breakdown, and a reset of society – just look at any of the social or political revolutions.  And the thing is, we don’t have to first change the world, then settle into a new egalitarian way of life.  The first place to start is always from within.  First, we realize that we are enough as we are.  I am enough as I am.  I am abundance from within.

When you know that you are enough, you have total confidence in how you govern your life.  You have total trust in the universe as it unfolds, so life isn’t a game of grab bag for you.  There is this immense freedom of expression because you’re not limited to the endless take, take, take.  A whole new dimension enters – one of compassion and a desire to share.  And of course, there is joy that comes with that.  Just see – are those who are always there to take, do they have joy in their hearts?  No, they have short-lived happiness in a singular achievement, only to get back into the chase for the next trophy.  It’s a little like being addicted to drugs.  Letting go of that is freedom.

We need to let go of that core feeling of being afraid, and to open up to deep well of love that we already are.  There is enough to go around if we become inclusive, if we use our technology smartly, and if we learn how to be sustainable as nature is.  There is not a supply ship bringing natural resources to the millions of species living on this planet, they have survived and thrived and evolved with what the planet’s baseline was when life began.  We also need to shift our mindset to recognize the blessed abundance, and life in harmony with Mother Earth and with ourselves.

When we say there is enough, obviously we are not downplaying suffering and hunger in the world.  There are extremely poor countries and people in every country who survive below the World Bank’s poverty line of $1.90 per day.  However, the point is that just being alive in itself is proof of the abundance that sustains that life – we need to recognize that.  We do that by living in gratitude.  We do that by focusing on what we already are, and what we already have rather than our perception of lack by comparison.

It is the arbitrary human systems we have put in place that are causing the imbalance.  As Lynne Twist puts it, these systems drive us to accumulate rather than allocate.  She states that we believe in 3 toxic myths: There is not enough, more is better, and that’s just the way it is.  We don’t need to buy into it anymore.  It’s almost heretical to point this out because we so much take our it for granted but even our political borders are purely a human construct.  Ironic that those satellites that we have built for national defense do not see any borders.  They see a whole beautiful blue planet.  A planet that is doing its best to sustain us, despite our best efforts.

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