I spoke a few days ago at a local sustainability festival. The topic of the Ethical Economics panel I was part of was ‘ Can Capitalism ever be beautiful?’
When our moderator, Tom, directed a question about ‘abundance’ to me I answered with this:
“I’m not sure about the term ‘abundance’ when referring to the spiritual belief that things can somehow come to us if we just have the right attitude, but I do know that we live in a world where there is ‘peak’ stuff. We have enough to go around, here in the West at least, we just need to keep it moving.”
Then I gave this example:
“At the moment, I am in need of a comb and a mirror. I am quite confident they will come my way in the not-too-distant future. I have found, in this lifestyle I’m living, that there is often plenty of excess around (even just among my friends). Some excess of theirs usually meets a need of mine if I wait – and vice versa”.
The moment I said this to the crowd, Tom passed his spare comb down the row of panelists to me (and jokingly asked for $15 for it). Within minutes, as we wrapped up the panel discussion, an audience member came up to me and handed me a small pocket mirror.
In a slightly triumphant gesture demonstrating the goodness of the people around me, I held the two items up for all to see and was met with cheers and applause.
This is what some would call ‘abundance’ and what I see as a fine example of ‘peak’ stuff.
Pass things around, people, for there is enough for all.
PS. I had, within a couple of hours, passed the mirror on to a friend who had greater need of it than me. There are enough mirrors to go around.