Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scarcity versus abundance mentalities

With limited quantities of "door buster" merchandise, thousands of people stood in long lines all across the country. Then with store openings shoppers were sharply elbowing each other to get their prized deals before others snatched them up. One shopper in Los Angles, California even used pepper spray to keep her competitors away from her electronic purchase.

People are not typically at their best when they have a scarcity mentality.  This kind of thinking promotes fear and mistrust of others.  It leads to competitive behavior that starts out with a win-lose outlook and then in the long-term often results in lose-lose destructive encounters, such as was exhibited by the shopper using pepper spray. All end up suffering.

In sharp contrast, an abundance mentality generates cooperative, win-win, decision making.  It produces love, and fosters generous behavior.  Flow charts of scarcity mentality (the law of deprivation) and abundance mentality (the law of extension), submitted by Harry Owens, are available from a Healing Healthcare Association website.

So much of today's political discourse seems to be feeding into this scarcity mentality, and hence a lose-lose end result.  Let's hope that our political leaders can once again learn to be respectful of other's perspectives, and instead of attacking behavior they think collaboratively and creatively together toward solutions.

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