Do you think abundantly? Do you live abundantly? Do you give abundantly? As God does? As humanists do? What does all that mean?
Perhaps you have followed my career change as I take up writing. Some courses have been helpful: teachers regularly refer to an abundance mindset. It means giving out generously, overdelivering. We try to be creators of abundance.
On the other hand, abundance mindset is often invoked to goad the customer into thinking higher prices. Sellers claim great benefits from their products and then promise great earning power to those who complete their courses. Abundance thinking sets the stage for high price tags—for the advertised course and for the products the students will sell afterward. One writer even bragged of his intention to retire with several tens of millions of dollars. The pitch fell flat. What is there in my attention span that could possibly benefit from tens of millions of dollars? That is not who I am, not my place in history.
Marketing uses artificial scarcity to make items appear to have value. Price is not value. Genuine value, like love, does not depend on scarcity. Unpolluted water becomes economically precious as the supply dwindles, but the value of water has always been life itself, whether or not we have had to struggle to obtain it. Your progress is the value of my writing, and I create no deadlines (fake scarcity) to inflate the price.
Article 102 asked who even wants self-improvement. To be valuable, growth requires a reason beyond scaling up for its own sake. In this blog, value is not materialism; it is character improvement, which does not 10x from reading this blog! Here we discuss ideals and sort out the ones that best fit our talents. Our abundance is the lives we improve, the better world we help others create. Small minds monopolize the material goods, hold the political power, and practice unlimited spending.
Granted, most people think too small. They eke out, they hoard, they stockpile, trying to be self-sufficient. That obstructs the vision of who we are together. If we conceptualize out of abundance, we do not focus on our individual net worth on a future date. Instead, we combine human capital into a structure that addresses all our needs. The planet supplies us abundantly if we spread out the resources properly. We can’t become more secure than that! As pointed out last week, it depends on desire. We will achieve fair abundance when it is our collective choice to do so.
To live on a grand scale starts with a grand overview. It is mindboggling for one person to fathom the aggregate of our needs. Instead, individuals specialize and share perspectives. Our results reach as far as our combined comprehension takes us. The global pandemic has taught us that we cannot stockpile individual security. Although leaders identified the global danger of an airborne virus years ago, the practical response required extensive collaboration and real-life information. The previous article urged a scientific approach to individual development. That project pales in urgency compared to vaccinating the entire human population faster than we did to eliminate smallpox. Accumulated money fails to help until there is vaccine to purchase. The abundant mindset is not material wealth, it is willingness to cooperate.
Time for humanism
There is a peculiarly human capacity we call empathy. It includes reciprocity: once I have your back, suddenly millions of people have mine. That is our most powerful stockpile. Abundance mindset is recognizing that there exists enough and distributing it equally. Whatever the planet contains, it must suffice for human species survival. Empathy makes us all equal in our right upon the planet. We have enough knowledge to keep us in balance without using war to eliminate excess population. After all, war also eliminates resources, even when there is no active war in progress. If we divide sustainable production by human population, that determines abundance. I am below average for my country and above average for the world. My life is devoted to accommodating myself to the world perspective. That is the average that sticks in my conscience.
The above declaration requires me to acknowledge again that it refers to humans’ needs, not meaningless numbers. Money figures vary by locality, and some people require more food or more medical care than others. Equality means assuring that the needs are met equally. I speak of “equality.” I shun the word “egalitarian” because it connotes “equal opportunity.” The latter phrase is a bombshell, because more often than not it means that wealth remains in the control of the aggressive – a far cry from anything I can call “equality.”
As I turn away from allowing everyone equal opportunity to grab, I take comfort in a Buddhist principle: I may take only what is given. How good it would be if that defined the business phrase “arm’s length negotiation” implying fairness between equals instead of a strangle hold. The American system pays lip service to high ideals. Sadly, greedy people subvert those ideals, and others hunger.
A comedy skit used a supercomputer to determine the meaning of life. The answer came out 57. Of course, the script suggested spending more time refining the question. An entrepreneur must recognize that rags to riches is not a purpose. Do you think your meaning is expressed by your balance sheet? Alternatively, if the above teacher were to brag that all the students did 10x their incomes, would that validate the teacher? Perhaps it matters where the students started. Half of minimum wage expanded to five times minimum wage might be a standard of living improvement. Transforming millionaire to billionaire could instead constitute degradation of overall societal outcomes.
Reviewing the content of this blog, let us take joy in our being needed, in the good that we create by helping others. Let us view these people, the whole of society, as our product while we let them evaluate their own growth according to their values. Remember that you do not accomplish this on your own. The grand overview is a group perspective. Participate abundantly to achieve your greatest purpose.