To live in scarcity is actually is to live with the pain of never having enough. The mind-set of scarcity prevents you from enjoying what you having; instead you are always fearful of what you might lose. It is the classic ‘poor little rich girl’ syndrome that we are all familiar with. Stunted in the ability to think in an expansive and visionary way - to gaze at the stars - people who choose the path of scarcity always want more of what they already have more than enough of. Money, of course. Always more money. Bigger and better variations on the basics.
The sad thing about the path of scarcity and greed is that it brings no peace or satisfaction or even security to those who choose it. Let me repeat. People on the path of excess live in a culture of scarcity. There is never enough to fill the hole in the soul; to sooth the ache of despair and emptiness. Their most intimate relationships suffer; they trust nobody. Living in scarcity creates a paranoia - there is always the worry that somebody will steal your things. People who live in a culture of scarcity suffer from low self-esteem; their ego strength is compromised by the emptiness at their core, a nagging sense at the edge of consciousness that there might be something more, if only they could find it and amass it. They cannot appreciate the beautiful things in their lives. There is no time to stop long enough for appreciation, it is always time to acquire more. How ironic that the more one has on this path of excess, the more one needs. There is never enough. Thus the sensation of always living in scarcity.
The other path is the path of abundance. The difference in the two paths has nothing to do with how much stuff or money one has. It has to do with how you experience yourself in your world. Are you lying in the gutter face down, grimly trying to pull yourself up? Or are you laying on your back, gazing in awe and wonder at the stars? When you live in a culture of abundance there is always enough. Since you spend less time accumulating things, and then protecting those things, you have more time to appreciate not only your things but the world around you. The truth is, in a culture of abundance, grace abounds. There is so much to be thankful for. And just as greed and fear make you close your fist around your possessions, gratitude opens your hands and your heart.
Rev. Roberta Finklestein is a Developmental Minister at the
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington Delaware