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Scarcity vs Abundance Mindsets

personperson Don't believe everything you think'Merica! Veteran

I recently came across this idea of how we can view the world on a spectrum from a view of scarcity or of abundance.

Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. The also have a a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/from-the-scarcity-mindset-to-the-abundance-mindset/

Most of the articles I found focus mostly on them in terms of finance but they seem to apply to every other aspect of our lives. In terms of how we relate to others in our lives, with generosity or selfishness. In politics there seems to be a move towards a scarcity mindset, Trump being the embodiment of it, everything is about winners and losers to him, it's all a zero sum game.

We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

Anyway, I'm just learning about this idea. If anyone else knows or has read anything or has any thoughts or personal experiences to share I would appreciate anything you could add.

Comments

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 19

    @person said:
    The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

    ...

    We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

    Yes, I agree with that. That's precisely why I think things like wealth, opportunity, and resources should be socialized and democratically controlled, and why I try to encourage cooperation and share credit wherever I work.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited May 19

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

    ...

    We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

    Yes, I agree with that. That's precisely why I think things like wealth, opportunity, and resources should be socialized and democratically controlled, and why I try to encourage cooperation and share credit wherever I work.

    It's funny how we can all see the same things from our own point of view.

    To me the attitude towards the economy that was salient was that if there is plenty out there, there is no reason to want to take so much from those who have more. One persons success adds to the general welfare it doesn't take resources from others. I do think though that a scarcity mentality among those who have more will drive them to a predatory form of capitalism and hold onto what they have rather than spread the wealth.

    Like everything else we disagree about I apply ideas more towards personal psychological thinking and it seems like you apply it more towards systems thinking. I suppose in the end there is a place for both though.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 19

    @person said:

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

    ...

    We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

    Yes, I agree with that. That's precisely why I think things like wealth, opportunity, and resources should be socialized and democratically controlled, and why I try to encourage cooperation and share credit wherever I work.

    It's funny how we can all see the same things from our own point of view.

    To me the attitude towards the economy that was salient was that if there is plenty out there, there is no reason to want to take so much from those who have more. One persons success adds to the general welfare it doesn't take resources from others. I do think though that a scarcity mentality among those who have more will drive them to a predatory form of capitalism and hold onto what they have rather than spread the wealth.

    Like everything else we disagree about I apply ideas more towards personal psychological thinking and it seems like you apply it more towards systems thinking. I suppose in the end there is a place for both though.

    Sure, except those who have more have a whole lot more, so much so that it produces material scarcity for the rest of working society, which in turn conditions a mentality of scarcity amongst the general population. The general welfare is greatly harmed, in my opinion, when a small minorty of people, the richest 1% of the population, accumulates $8 of every $10 of the wealth that's collectively created. And what's worse, that wealth is often taken from those who can afford to lose it the least.

    Re: capitalism, I'd say it's naturally predatory and conditions predatory behaviour (besides what Marx et al wrote about the logic of capitalism and its effects, capitalists used to employ children and had striking employees shot, for God's sake). There's plenty out there, but people don't feel that way because it's not accessible to them, so their reality is one of scarcity rather than abundance. And those who have more, are conditioned to ruthlessly compete for it because capital, by nature, tends to accumulate, and social power accumulates along with it. So it's ultimately not just about who has more, but who has a greater say in how society is organized, how resources are shared, etc.

    In essence, I apply ideas to both because I see how they're interconnected, each conditioning the other, materially and psychologically.

    Kerome
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Jason said:

    @person said:

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

    ...

    We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

    Yes, I agree with that. That's precisely why I think things like wealth, opportunity, and resources should be socialized and democratically controlled, and why I try to encourage cooperation and share credit wherever I work.

    It's funny how we can all see the same things from our own point of view.

    To me the attitude towards the economy that was salient was that if there is plenty out there, there is no reason to want to take so much from those who have more. One persons success adds to the general welfare it doesn't take resources from others. I do think though that a scarcity mentality among those who have more will drive them to a predatory form of capitalism and hold onto what they have rather than spread the wealth.

    Like everything else we disagree about I apply ideas more towards personal psychological thinking and it seems like you apply it more towards systems thinking. I suppose in the end there is a place for both though.

    Sure, except those who have more have a whole lot more, so much so that it produces material scarcity for the rest of working society, which in turn conditions a mentality of scarcity amongst the general population. The general welfare is greatly harmed, in my opinion, when a small minorty of people, the richest 1% of the population, accumulates $8 of every $10 of the wealth that's collectively created. And what's worse, that wealth is often taken from those who can afford to lose it the least.

    Re: capitalism, I'd say it's naturally predatory and conditions predatory behaviour (besides what Marx et al wrote about the logic of capitalism and its effects, capitalists used to employ children and had striking employees shot, for God's sake). There's plenty out there, but people don't feel that way because it's not accessible to them, so their reality is one of scarcity rather than abundance. And those who have more, are conditioned to ruthlessly compete for it because capital, by nature, tends to accumulate, and social power accumulates along with it. So it's ultimately not just about who has more, but who has a greater say in how society is organized, how resources are shared, etc.

    In essence, I apply ideas to both because I see how they're interconnected, each conditioning the other, materially and psychologically.

    Alright, fair enough. I don't really want the thread to bog down in a discussion over capitalism. What struck me more about the idea was how it applies to our everyday interactions. Do we feel we can be generous with ourselves or do we feel the need to hold onto or protect our qualities and happiness?

    I guess I'd appreciate any personal stories people may have.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I agree. I'm personally feeling very generous with my critique of capitalism at the moment. There's an abundance, and I'm not stingy. :lol:

    Vastmind
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    We don't lose anything when we are generous and share with others, there is enough kindness and opportunity to go around, when one person gains that doesn't take away from us, it adds to the general welfare, we can all do/be better.

    That is the Boddhisattva/spiritual ideal as opposed to materialist/political/personal accumulation models. It is the difference between shining outward and vampire style spirituality which sucks, doesn't it ...
    https://vividness.live/2011/06/10/nice-buddhism/

    What does doing better mean? It goes through phases AND integrity means not imposing our closet greed/unkindness and grasping on others. Better to close and tighten our wheel/path around our personal core at such passings ...

    Most of us need to stretch and outreach our kindness and generosity into greater forms.

    What happens when we generously take others unkind thinking, dharma do-do and dead ends? Better be prepared for a break ...

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Abundance/Scarcity mentalities. Aren't we just applying new, 'hip' pseudo-analytical labels to something that already has a label?

    Altruistic generosity/Stingy paranoia.

    Those terms already exist.
    Why dress 'em up in a new outfit, when the old one still has years of use in it?

    lobsterKundoVastmind
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Those terms already exist.
    Why dress 'em up in a new outfit, when the old one still has years of use in it?

    Indeed.
    Words and their precursors, mind, emotions, body feelings and drunken stupours have very powerful karmic ripples. Who knew? Most of us no doubt ...

    In this written communication mode, we can practice:

    • Abundant generosity
    • Silent understanding
    • Shared experience

    ... and if wise enough, sila galvinisation
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/

    The bull never has been lost.
    What need is there to search?
    Only because of separation from my
    true nature, I fail to find him.
    In the confusion of the senses I
    lose even his tracks. Far from home,
    I see many crossroads, but which way
    is the right one I know not.
    Greed and fear, good and bad,
    entangle me.
    http://peace.wikia.com/wiki/Ox_1_%26_2

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @federica said:
    Abundance/Scarcity mentalities. Aren't we just applying new, 'hip' pseudo-analytical labels to something that already has a label?

    Altruistic generosity/Stingy paranoia.

    Those terms already exist.
    Why dress 'em up in a new outfit, when the old one still has years of use in it?

    Good point. Maybe abundance/scarcity points more to a deeper psychological state of mind, an underlying cause of behavior and intentions? While altruistic generosity/stingy paranoia points more towards "symptoms".

    Maybe your absolutely right though and there is no real difference. For me though repackaging ideas and looking at them through a different lens helps me get a better understanding of them.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    Abundance/Scarcity mentalities. Aren't we just applying new, 'hip' pseudo-analytical labels to something that already has a label?

    Altruistic generosity/Stingy paranoia.

    Those terms already exist.
    Why dress 'em up in a new outfit, when the old one still has years of use in it?

    I think it is useful to see where the thinking is coming from. Seeing Scarcity / Abundance mentalities is an examination of the roots of the attitude, and to me it feels true at first glance. It is very relevant to persuading a person to jump from one mode of thinking to another, if you know why he thinks the way he does.

    person
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    One of the things that I appreciate about Marx is that he realized how much our material circumstances and conditions influence our ways of thinking, and how those who control the flow and direction of ideas propagate certain ideas over others. In the context of capitalism, the ideas of scarcity dominates. One reason is that capitalism produces artificial scarcity in order to create and realize profit. Another is how capital itself functions and the drive to accumulate more, which gets accumulated into fewer and fewer hands, creating scarcity in terms of access to wealth, opportunity, and resources. There are finite limits to things, but those limits are exacerbated by the material organization of society (e.g., think of the people who see scarcity in jobs, because our survival depends on wage labour, and then turn their anger on the immigrants they perceive as taking those scarce jobs away), fostering a mentality of scarcity rather than of abundance and solidarity. I mean, how can you expect a society to have a mentality of abundance when the majority of said society is pressured to compete for 2 pieces of pie while a handful are in the position to enjoy 8 that's out of reach of everyone else?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I think I've noticed for myself that I have a scarcity mentality around acceptance. Maybe I feel like there is only so much to go around, if others are being accepted for the categories they fit into then there isn't room for me to be accepted for the categories I fit into. That seems to translate into my being jealous or envious when I see others belonging and I have a hard time in being accepting of certain people if they don't fit into my range of acceptable categories.

    I was also thinking about this in relation to politics. Politics, specifically in the US, is inherently a scarcity model. There is only a fixed amount of political power pie to go around, one team wins and the other loses. I wonder how politics here could be adjusted to an abundance model? I've heard about power sharing governments, I don't know what they are, how they function, or even if they function. Maybe that, or a parliamentary style system, though adopting that here faces large structural, constitution challenges that may make it virtually impossible to adopt. Maybe a ranked choice voting system could work, I know some cities are trying it out, I'm not sure how it has worked so far, I can see many pros but also some cons (candidates may be even less likely to take a clear position in fear of alienating potential 2nd or 3rd choice voters).

    Jason
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 20

    @person said:
    I think I've noticed for myself that I have a scarcity mentality around acceptance. Maybe I feel like there is only so much to go around, if others are being accepted for the categories they fit into then there isn't room for me to be accepted for the categories I fit into. That seems to translate into my being jealous or envious when I see others belonging and I have a hard time in being accepting of certain people if they don't fit into my range of acceptable categories.

    I was also thinking about this in relation to politics. Politics, specifically in the US, is inherently a scarcity model. There is only a fixed amount of political power pie to go around, one team wins and the other loses. I wonder how politics here could be adjusted to an abundance model? I've heard about power sharing governments, I don't know what they are, how they function, or even if they function. Maybe that, or a parliamentary style system, though adopting that here faces large structural, constitution challenges that may make it virtually impossible to adopt. Maybe a ranked choice voting system could work, I know some cities are trying it out, I'm not sure how it has worked so far, I can see many pros but also some cons (candidates may be even less likely to take a clear position in fear of alienating potential 2nd or 3rd choice voters).

    Yes, I agree and think there are more equitable models, forms of proportional representation and power-sharing that allow for more voices to be heard and take part in the decision-making process. It's difficult to implement, though, within our current two-party, winner-take-all system. Things like the Fair Representation Act are trying to change that, but it's definitely an uphill battle.

    person
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    I think I've noticed for myself that I have a scarcity mentality around acceptance. Maybe I feel like there is only so much to go around, if others are being accepted for the categories they fit into then there isn't room for me to be accepted for the categories I fit into. That seems to translate into my being jealous or envious when I see others belonging and I have a hard time in being accepting of certain people if they don't fit into my range of acceptable categories.

    I was also thinking about this in relation to politics. Politics, specifically in the US, is inherently a scarcity model. There is only a fixed amount of political power pie to go around, one team wins and the other loses. I wonder how politics here could be adjusted to an abundance model? I've heard about power sharing governments, I don't know what they are, how they function, or even if they function. Maybe that, or a parliamentary style system, though adopting that here faces large structural, constitution challenges that may make it virtually impossible to adopt. Maybe a ranked choice voting system could work, I know some cities are trying it out, I'm not sure how it has worked so far, I can see many pros but also some cons (candidates may be even less likely to take a clear position in fear of alienating potential 2nd or 3rd choice voters).

    Yes, I agree and think there are more equitable models, forms of proportional representation and power-sharing that allow for more voices to be heard to take part in the decision-making process. It's difficult to implement, though, within our current two-party, winner-take-all system. Things like the Fair Representation Act are trying to change that, but it's definitely an uphill battle.

    I like that proposal, it gets around the constitutional problems implementing a parliamentary system has and allows for greater political diversity. It seems like sort of a common end game solution for the efforts being put into ranked choice voting and impartial districting standards.

    I live in a uncontestable district, I voted in the primary 20 or so years ago when the previous congressman retired, but the candidate I wanted didn't win. So now I'm stuck with someone who doesn't really represent my views but I'm more or less forced to vote for them because they are better than the alternative.

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