The Meaning of “Scarcity”

Last month, when self was visiting son and Jennie in Claremont, she got to sit in on a panel sponsored by Women in Business.  The speakers, all of them, were great.  At the end of the afternoon, every participant was given the choice of one of three free books.

The one self chose was Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown.

Chapter 1 is on “Scarcity” (Honestly, you’d think self would have gotten farther than that by now.  Note to Self:  quit reading fanfiction!

There are three components to scarcity and how our culture perceives it:

  1. Shame:  Is fear of ridicule and belittling used to manage people and/or to keep people in line?  Is self-worth tied to achievement, productivity, or compliance?  Are blaming and finger-pointing norms?  Are put-downs and name-calling rampant?
  2. Comparison:  Healthy competition can be beneficial, but is there constant overt or covert comparing and ranking?  Has creativity been suffocated?  Are people held to one narrow standard rather than acknowledged for their unique gifts and contributions?  Is there an ideal way of being or one form of talent that is used as measurement of everyone else’s worth?
  3. Disengagement:  Are people afraid to take risks or to try new things?  Is it easier to stay quiet than to share stories, experiences, and ideas?  Does it feel as if no one is really paying attention or listening?  Is everyone struggling to be seen and heard?

“. . .  to grow a relationship or raise a family or create an organizational culture or run a school or nurture a faith community, all in a way that is fundamentally opposite to the cultural norms driven by scarcity, it takes awareness, commitment and work . . .  every single day.  The larger world is always applying pressure, and unless we’re willing to push back and fight for what we believe in, the default becomes a state of scarcity . . .  ”

“The counterapproach to living in scarcity is not . . .  abundance.  In fact . . .  scarcity and abundance are two sides of the same coin.  The opposite of “never enough” isn’t abundance or “more than you could ever imagine.”  The opposite of scarcity is enough . . .

Chapter 2 is on “Debunking Vulnerability Myths”:

“Vulnerability isn’t good or bad:  It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience.  Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings.  To feel is to be vulnerable.  To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness.  To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”

“Fear, shame, grief, sadness, and disappointment. . .  profoundly affect the way we live, love, work, and even lead . . . ” but “vulnerability is the cradle of the emotions and experiences that we crave.”

And now self must stop posting so that she can continue reading.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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