Sunday, October 18, 2009

Coping with Abundance

Millions of years of evolution have prepared humans to survive in a dangerous world of scarce resources and aggressive predators. Many human emotions form an armor that served our ancestors well by protecting them against the many deadly dangers of their ancient world. We are always wary; suspicious of dangers lurking everywhere. Our exquisitely sensitive perceptions of fear and anxiety are especially vigilant in alerting us to a wide variety of dangers: real, potential, or imagined. Fear works so quickly that we are poised to defend even before we can comprehend danger.

Our easily learned distrust and hatred of strangers—outsiders who are different and may pose a threat—developed to keep us safe from possible foes. Our quick anger protects our territory, defends against trespassers, and warns potential predators to back off. Violent and persistent revenge also serves to defend us against potential predators. Fighting ability, and other forms of power and predation, often determined who got to eat and who starved to death. Selfish greed was an essential survival skill. Social rank often determined access to mates. Our disgust of toxic substances helps us avoid inedible, poisonous, or rotten plants and animals, allowing us to forage safely for nutritious food. Danger was everywhere and we are ever vigilant in noticing it, repelling it, and attacking it.

But abundance is now beginning to displace the scarcity that characterized the world for billions of years. The world is becoming safer. Can humans, wired to survive in a dangerous world of scarce resources, ever realize the full promise of an abundant world? Can we manage a transition from a wary and selfish defensive posture to a life where we relax and share the wonderful possibilities of a safe world with abundant resources? Can we shed our armor, embrace our hope, and learn to thrive together?

Humans survived for millions of years by mastering the law of the jungle—kill or be killed. But the hopeful among us also preached and professed, in every major religion and culture, another rule, the Golden Rule—where we encourage ourselves to treat others as we wish to be treated, or better yet, as they wish to be treated.

Can humans, built for surviving scarcity, cope with this modern abundance and learn to thrive? Can we overcome the destructive powers of suspicion, fear mongering, terrorism, tyranny, greed, and vanity? Can the golden rule ever displace the rule of the jungle? Can our concept of reciprocity manage the transition from revenge to generosity? Can an eye for an eye ever become one good turn deserves another; can random acts of kindness ever become their own sufficient reward?

The golden rule is skittish and timid. Too often the law of the jungle scares off the golden rule, quickly sending it back into hiding. Shout “fire!” and the art gallery quickly empties. Set the threat level to orange and we gladly take our shoes off at the airport, distrust Muslims, buy guns, and approve additional defense spending. Brandish a gun and the high school is overcome with panic. The asymmetry is stunning, but we have the capacity for restraint, we can decide to avoid conflict. Eventually we learn to act for others instead of to others.

Can we invent a better story for ourselves where we sail into a vast universe of possibility? Can we ever orient ourselves toward abundance, learn to give up control, and enjoy the benefits of taking more risk? Can we abandon a world of winning and losing, acceptance and rejection, assessing friend or foe, strength or weakness, attack or retreat? Can we stop hoarding resources, polishing our armor, worrying about the past and future, and struggling to survive in a world of scarcity even as we create abundance? Can we all enjoy making our own contributions? Can we follow our creative passions? Can we get others to come out of their caves, take off their armor, and fully enroll themselves in important work? Can each of us apply our greatness every day by: seizing the possibilities, simple compassion, and authentic contributions?

Humans can hope, learn, grow, invent, create, and make better choices. If we decide to describe revenge, greed, hubris, vanity, fear, and righteousness as the villains—and people as the hope—we can come together to create the possibility of a better world for ourselves. We can create a world where love displaces hate, selfishness gives way to generosity and contribution, hope overcomes fear, trust replaces suspicion, arrogance matures into humility, helping becomes more rewarding than cheating and stealing, winning gives way to enjoyment and fulfillment, and compassion overcomes anger, revenge, and violence. We can enjoy the awesome beauty of nature, the warm rich comfort of healthy relationships, and peace of mind. We can all learn the art of possibility, we can all practice the Golden Rule, and we can enjoy the remarkable potential of our humanity. All our needs can be met; we can all have enough.

We survived scarcity; we can certainly learn to cope with abundance. Know when it is time to get out of the tanks and into the sports cars. Take the risk, enjoy the ride, and explore the possibilities.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing insight into our primary fears....always seeing the glass half empty instead of half full...which is part of dealing with the abundance around us. We fail to see how much we really have and always seek more security materially when we should seek the spiritual fulfillment that "should" displace the material insecurity.

Important subject're definitely onto something here.

Thank you.

SimplyCurious said...

The Golden Alliance is now available as a resource for people who choose to live by the golden rule. See:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


SimplyCurious said...

Thanks for your comment and I am sorry to hear you are having difficulties reaching the site. I checked the link and it is working, perhaps the problem is temporary, please try again.

Thanks! Lee Beaumont

Anonymous said...

cbse 10th result 2017
up board result 2017
cbse result 2017
jee main result 2017
icse result 2017
SSC result 2017
IPL 2017
IPL 2017
IPL 2017 teams
Fifa 2018

IPL 2017 Live
IPL 2017 schedule

Anonymous said...

To Download The RRB Result 2016 Download Here

Musicon said...
thevoice USA 2017
thevoice UK 2017
thevoice Australia 2017
IPL Season 10

dhaval shah said...


Sachin Tendulker said...

ipl live score streaming
Real Madrid vs Barcalona
ipl live score 2012 video

Shiva reddy said...

Great post. Thankyou for sharing this post.

Watch IPL Live Score ,IPL Scorecard , IPL Latest News & IPL 2017 Schedule

Good Friday Images
| Good Friday 2017 | Good Friday Images 2017 | Good Friday Images Download

Ganesh Chaturthi Wishes | Ganesh Chaturthi images | Ganesh Chaturthi 2017 | Ganesh Chaturthi Images 2017

aliamay said...

Thanks for he informative news.. Now I am sharing India premier league 2017 ipl 10 statrted now in5 th april 2017. Get all th news and updates of ipl 2017 live score , team squads and all the updates related to ipl 2017.
ipl 2017 schedule
Royal Challengers Banglore RCB Team squad 2017
Kings XI Punjab team squad 2017
Indian premier league ipl 2017
Delhi Daredevils team squad 2017
2017 Indian Premier League
Gujrati Lions Squad 2017

ojas said...

happy mothers day heart touching poems qoutes wishes download and share for happy mothers day in fb whatsapp and insta

Jui said...

Barcelona vs Real Madrid Live stream

El Classico 2017 Live Streaming

Barcelona vs Real Madrid Video Highlights

April Fool Jokes said...

Make Money Online
Crack Photoshop

Unknown said...

very nice post sharing

IPL match prediction
Big Bash match prediction
todays match prediction

Happy Diwali said...

check this

Rahul Gupta said...

official site
visit here
official site
visit here
click here

Black Panther said...

official site
official site

Pavitra Kumar said...

Warren Buffett Quotes Stock Market Quotes
Thank you for some other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such info. Mother Teresa Quotes Steve Jobs Quotes Bruce Lee Quotes