In this interconnected and interdependent world, together we have everything we need. When our work and our lives are rooted in that understanding, we can accomplish anything we can dream of.
Yet we humans view much of our lives through the lens of scarcity and “if only.” If only we had more money, more people, more time, more stuff. That sense of “not enough” leads to competition and secrecy. It leads to scrounging and gouging. In the long-term, it leads to venerating efficiency over effectiveness, austerity over joy.
When we’re little, we’re taught to share. Then we grow up, and the message is clear: sharing is for kids. As an adult in this “dog eat dog world,” the road to success is “every man for himself.”
What if that spirit of sharing and enoughness is not only “not childish” but the only road to our collective AND individual success?
The following stories prove what can happen when we assume a) that there is enough, and b) that the road to “enoughness” is each other. One story is from the community benefit world, the other from the business world, where our culture believes as fact that “competition is reality.” In both stories, you’ll sense the same truth: together we have everything we need.
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, A Woman’s Place (domestic violence) had an ongoing need for client transportation; the Coalition to Shelter and Support the Homeless shared their van. That same homeless coalition was frequently doing blanket drives and similar donation campaigns; A Woman’s Place not only provided a highly accessible drop-off location for those items, but offered their social media presence to get the word out. You can read the whole story here.
From the business world is the origin story of Amy’s Kitchen, the leading natural food brand in the US. This story busts the myth that like-kind businesses must see through the lens of scarcity and competition. Because together, we have everything we need. You can hear that story in the video below.
Seeing through the lens of Collective Enoughness, we realize that resources are everywhere – whether those resources are things like vans and blankets and storefronts, or people with skills and wisdom and ideas. Money may be scarce, but money isn’t a resource; it’s simply one among many means for gaining access to those real things we need.
When we share those real resources, we build collective strength. Unlike the single thread of our individual being, collectively we can weave those threads to create a blanket. That single thread won’t keep anyone warm; the blanket can provide warmth for all of us.
So if you’re feeling the fear and mistrust of scarcity, the answer isn’t competing and hoarding and hiding behind walls.
The answer to scarcity is each other.
• What is your favorite Collective Enoughness story?
• What do you have right now that you could share with someone who needs it – on your own or as part of your work?
• And what is your best tip for finding who else has what you might need?
Let us know in the comments!