Scarcity Thinking

We have two deep-seated orientations toward life.

Some people see possibilities everywhere they look. They see the abundance in life. Many look at their situations and discover they have plenty to share. Food. Love. Money.

They discover that the more they have to give the more comes back in return. It’s not that they live in a world of reciprocity. It’s a world of giving. We all know people who give freely yet seem to always have enough.

Then there are people who deeply feel a world of scarcity. Even in a society where the poorest are rich compared to other societies, people feel deeply that there is not enough to go around. Not enough food. Not enough jobs. Not enough love.

They live in suspicion of others. Fear is the motivating emotion. Leading to selfishness, “me-first” attitude, keep others out, not enough to share. Cynicism runs rampant.

Social observers labeled the Baby Boom generation as far back as the early 70s as the “Me Generation”. It’s all about me. I deserve it all. “Hey, you, get off of my cloud.”

But it’s unfair to apply that to every Boomer. Just as many Gen X, Millennials, Gen Y, and whatever other label generations contain perhaps as many exceptions to their labels as conform to it.

It’s a human condition, is scarcity thinking. Even reading ancient wisdom literature from 3,000 years ago you see signs.

But it can be overcome. First with awareness that there is another way. Adjusting our outlook. Start by giving small gifts. Learn that there are blessings in life by sharing. Developmental psychologists tell us it’s a mark of maturity.

Giving is a spiritual discipline. It must be practiced to become one of the foundations of spiritual formation. If you think I’m “full of it”, then you are most in need of the attitude adjustment.

Awaken to the possibilities that God has place before you.

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