“The opposite of scarcity is not abundance; the opposite of scarcity is simply enough. Empathy is not finite, and compassion is not a pizza with eight slices. When you practice empathy and compassion with someone, there is not less of these qualities to go around. There’s more. Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world.”
When our hearts are full our interests change, our desires change, and our motives change. We become more proactive and less reactive. Our fears about not being enough, not having enough, and not being able to keep what we have begin to quiet.
Our thought processes begin to transform, shifting away from selfish plotting, scheming, and negotiating ways for us to acquire more for ourselves, and toward giving, sharing, and contributing. Instead of imagining ways to accumulate, horde, and protect material goods and wealth, our minds open to the possibility that there is truly enough for everyone, if only we work together toward that goal. It is up to us to go first, however, to lead the charge, and to offer of ourselves so that others may see that kindness and generosity are the outward manifestations of gratitude.
If we are grateful in our hearts, for the lives, the love, and the opportunities we have received in the good times, the truest expression of that gratitude is to give of ourselves during the hard times in whatever way we can, when it is not easy, when it is not convenient, and when there may be no reciprocity. This may simply mean showing up, being present, offering a kind word, a shoulder to lean on, or an ear to listen, even if virtually. Sometimes all we have to offer is time, but the act of offering is the first step toward transcending the fear of scarcity.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown, unless otherwise noted).
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