Culture, School, Life

Generosity Comes From Abundance

[Today’s podcast was about generosity. You can check it out here]

In college, one of my colleagues was notorious for forgetting his pencil. It was very clear in the way he dressed, his mismatching socks, and disheveled hair that his goal was to do the bare minimum in class to get participation. And usually he would ask me for pencils, since he knew I kept an ungodly amount of pens and pencils in my backpack.

I think it’s interesting to note our respective attitudes in this scenario regarding pencils. If I really just wanted to be prepared, I would keep only a few extra pencils. Not twenty. But in past experiences, I’d personally been in embarrassing situations where no one was willing to give me a pencil. So, out of this fear, I kept many pens and pencils.

So he would ask, and I would give. But I started to notice that when my pencil stash would run low, I was more hesitant to give him a pencil. In fact, sometimes I would lie that I didn’t have an extra, so that my own anxiety could be quelled. Needless to say, neither of us were happy in this situation.

I had developed a relationship with my irrational fear of pencils, and my colleague developed an unspoken trust with me of providing. The more pencils I had, the more comfortable I was with giving him a pencil. But as that stash dwindled, so did our weird relationship. Basically, the less I had, the less willing I was to give him a pencil.

Eventually, he moved to another part of the class where he continued his cycle of “pen-handling.” I thought I was being generous, but in reality I felt bad for him. We aren’t able to freely give if we think we don’t have enough.

You know at least one person in your own life who has shied away from donating because they say they don’t have enough. They usually say things like, “Once I become rich, then I’ll have extra money to donate!” But riches come from an abundant mindset. Let me ask you this: how will you ever become rich, if you operate from a poor and lacking mindset?

 

 

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The Resistance

We are all trying to survive.

Here’s something interesting that I’ve learned today: we are all trying to survive.

This statement is not new to very many of us, but if we look closer at the deeper meaning, perhaps we can better understand our own patterns.

Consider the reptilian brain – the part in our brain responsible for “fight or flight” response. This area of the brain identifies patterns, and is the most evolutionary mature part of our brain (compared to the cerebellum and neo cortex). It likes habits and despises change, because it was how our ancestors survived; by eating the familiar berries, walking the familiar path home and not getting eaten by sabretooth tigers. Pretty important for back then, not so much for society today.

So next time you try something new, and you doubt yourself, induce anxiety or irrational fear, just remind yourself that it’s just your reptilian brain trying to prevent getting eaten by sabretooth tiger many years ago. It served its purpose then, but is holding you back now. Acknowledge it and continue on with your goals.

Social Commentary

We’re Not Saving The Planet With Earth Day.


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Earth has been around for billions of years, and our species for just a few thousand. So it’s a bit interesting that Earth Day has only been around for less than 50 years. It seems like it took us a while to realize the importance of the earth, but anyway today is Earth Day- and with this blog, while it isn’t my intention to criticize the good intentions of people today who are planting tree saplings, some extreme pseudo-environmentalists need to be put in check.

Now I’m all for celebrating Earth Day, cleaning up the earth and giving it respect, but what I have a severe problem with are people who take this idea to the extreme: pretentious environmental green-friendly “crusaders” who think they are doing a service to humanity and SAVING THE PLANET by shopping with their reusable handbags for organic licorice and recycled, biodegradable toilet paper. And if you don’t, you’re beneath them and responsible for destroying the planet..

…are you f***** kidding me right now?

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It’s one thing to acknowledge that we’ve hugely screwed up our habitat by ripping holes into the ozone layer, flushing gallons of nuclear waste and oil into the ocean, while deforesting thousands of acres daily for fast food corporations to raise and farm their cattle. But instead of accepting that we’ve messed up a lot more than we can fix and acting with humility, we take pride and reward in doing things we should be doing from a long time ago.

Similar to how a heart-patient takes his diet more seriously after his first heart attack, peace and respect for the earth didn’t become a priority until many people realized that it would cost us the demise of our own species. So basically, Earth Day was created out of a selfish need  for self-preservation. I can’t say I disagree with that notion.

Long before Earth Day came into existence, there were many people who cared about the earth and respected it. Case in point, the Indigenous people of the Americas. Way before colonization from the British and Spanish, many of these now-extinct groups were known to exist in harmony with nature. Today, nearly all those people are wiped out like just every other virtually extinct animal species on the planet. In fact, about 20 species from this planet are becoming extinct each day, independent of how we act towards Earth. There’s no exact cause for it, but just as each species that has come into existence on this planet, they will eventually die out. We as humans are not separate from this chain, and like most guests who have disrespectfully and overstayed their welcome, our host will have to kick us out sooner or later.

We’re not saving the planet with Earth Day. If anything, we’re just doing a little house cleaning until the next species arrives to take our place. Until then, let’s be kind to one another and share ideas while we zip around the Sun in our high-speed blue-green planetary spaceship.

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