Beyond the Myth of Scarcity

Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and yesterday SheLoves magazine published a piece I wrote about my childhood memories of Thanksgiving dinner and the cultural myth of scarcity that I grew up with. In light of world events over the past few weeks–violent attacks and decisions about whether to welcome refugees in the wake of that tragedy or not–the choice between living with a mindset of scarcity or a mindset of abundance has never been more crucial. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Growing up in upper-middle class American suburbia, Thanksgiving was usually the day that we ate so much our stomachs hurt—seconds and thirds and dessert, as much as we wanted, because it was a feast day. And although Thanksgiving was a special meal because it brought my extended family together for a big party, it wasn’t like we were leaving the dinner table less-than-full on other days.  I cannot remember there ever being a time when we did not have enough.

I learned early on—in school and everywhere else—that being successful required that I “get ahead.” I learned that the economy and other national interests needed to be protected at all costs, whether that meant bombing our enemies or building walls to keep them out. If they came in, they might suck away our prosperity, leech off our system or, even worse, threaten the affluence and convenience that we had come to jealously guard as our way of life.

Still, we always had more than we needed–everything in abundance–but we did not believe in abundance. Scarcity, or the threat of scarcity, always cast its shadow over our lives…”

Head on over to SheLoves Magazine to read the rest!


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