What this country needs is a psychic stimulus package.The current focus is only part of the solution. The “system” that the government is trying to fix is comprised of a set of rules, regulations and transactions that comprise the banking system and central economy. The government’s stimulus package pours adrenalin into the system, along with a few sparks, and waits for a beating heart. Meanwhile, the individuals crumble as they conduct their in-house run on the piggy bank. They break open 401ks, and then stuff the cash into a mattress. They turn in their car and buy a bus pass. They cancel the family vacations, new fall clothes and their church tithe.
Each act of prudence on their part reinforces the gravity of the situation. The shopkeepers that served them see the till getting skinnier every day. They start to layoff the newbie’s and non-relatives. The newly unemployed turn in their cars, put off any new things like clothes and the downward spiral deepens by a factor of one family.
Eventually, all of our creativity is poured into shrinking the flow of pennies out the door. If things are really as bad as the news-folk are telling you, this is only going to stave off your bankruptcy by weeks. You think you are rearranging your finances to survive the storm. I think you are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
The politics of scarcity haven’t served us well, and the nonstop fear-sell has worn us down to a spiritual nub. For the first time in our lives, we truly have to have faith to do anything: spend, lend, invest or replenish. With each passing day, the dread inside us drains energy until, at some point, we just glaze over and adopt a new
Meanwhile, scarcity spreads from stuff to success. Jazz idols (Etta James) and blockbuster writers (Stephen King) lash out at young successful competitors in the new
world of “there’s not enough to go around.” While this example comes from the entertainment pages, you likely see this at work as the employee of the month is slagged at the break room table by forlorn office mates who’ve lost their ability to share a little success. Eventually, scarcity will spread to our concept of time as we are asked to do twice as much with half the help. We’ll go from hustling to frantic scrambling as we feel like we are sinking in the sands-of-no time. We’ll cancel meetings, special dinners, Saturdays with the kids and the summer getaway. Checking email at the dinner table, we’ll resent our employers (who put food on the dinner table) and sink further down into the spiral of helpless self-doubt.
At some point, this psychosis will snake its way into every company, city and church—until the entire nation is embroiled in personal competitions for all remaining scraps: Jobs, profits, friends, awards, lover and time. It will be dog-eat-dog.
I get that our evolution is more environmental than genetic as I again point to the need for a psychic solution to our crisis of scarcity think.
Person by person, or family by family, we need an injection of confidence and daring-do back into the collective consciousness of this nation.
We need to spread the message of abundance: that we can find enough to go around. To really stimulate the economy, we need to restore their ability to trust and dream. We must help people find a better perch or perspective, one that gives them the confidence to declare “there’s enough to go around”, even when the manna has not fallen on their yards (yet). We need to promote a new way of thinking. Currently the gurus of personal finance promote a new way of acting. But that’s not addressing the root of the issue. We’ve got to react to the outside world from a different starting point: “If we are willing to work, adapt and trust each together, I believe that there’s enough to go around.”
Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to talk about the “how”. Please join this conversation with your thoughts on how we can promote this paradigm shift
in everyone we know. I’m especially interested in your personal stories of how scarcity has impacted your life, or the life of someone you know. I’m really interested in your stories of how people are rising up like a Phoenix from the ashes, and inspiring you to believe in abundance.
This is an important conversation for the times.