Part 2 – Scarcity: The Great Lie

I recently received a heart wrenching email from a new reader…heart wrenching because I remembered what it felt like to wake up to the realization that the Great American Dream I’d been pursuing for so much of my life had turned into a nightmare…one from which I knew not how to escape.  Writes the reader:

“I am from (outside the US) and cannot get used to the craziness of the American life. We make so much money and have no time to enjoy it. Everyone is busy, we don’t have enough time (or money) for vacations, don’t have time for a social life and everyone else is always running anyway so there is no opportunity to meet.”

Here we have a perfect example of how toxic myth #2 perpetuates a world of scarcity.  This second myth says “more is better.”  As Lynne writes in her book, The Soul of Money:

“It’s the logical response if you fear there’s not enough, but ‘more is better’ drives a competitive culture of accumulation, acquisition, and greed that only heightens fears and quickens the pace of the race.”

Boy, does this strike a chord. How about with you?

Our awakening reader is beginning to realize this.  He shares that along with saving for college and retirement, his family “spend over $2,000/month on our house mortgage and still manage to spend over $3,000/month for groceries, sport + music lessons for the girls, dining out + entertainment (very little) and home improvements. I have a good job and a good salary, but everything goes away each month and I work many many hours/week.”

Here’s what Twist has to say about such behavior:

“If we look only at behavior, it tells us that we have made money more important that we are, given it more meaning than human life. Humans have done and will do terrible things in the name of money. They have killed for it, enslaved other people for it, and enslaved themselves to joyless lives in pursuit of it.”

We’ve bought into these toxic myths hook, line and sinker, but a growing number of people are beginning to wake up and realize there’s something drastically wrong with this picture.  There is another possibility — living from a perspective of sufficiency.  When you take a stand that there is enough, and that more isn’t necessarily better, we can begin to create a new paradigm from which to live.

“When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”

But I may be leaping ahead of myself.  There’s one last toxic myth of scarcity still to be examined, which we’ll explore in the next installment.