“When I think about creating abundance, it’s not about creating a life of luxury for everybody on this planet; it’s about creating a life of possibility. It is about taking that which was scarce and making it abundant.” ~ Peter Diamandis
Okay, I want to get something off my chest and clear it up for good.
Yes, I grow my own fruit and vegetables, keep chickens and bees and love preserving food. But, I’m NOT a prepper or survivalist.
Since I started A Farm of Your Home, I have received seemingly endless curious questions like,
“Are you prepping for TEOTWAWKI?”
(The first time someone mentioned it, I had no idea what they meant and had to Google it!)
Admittedly, I was curious about the whole caper. I have lived through a few cyclones as a kid which required us to tie everything down, go without power and water for a while plus miss a few days of school. Natural disasters are simply a fact of life in some parts of the world. So I checked out a few sites.
Not me at all. Frankly, preppers weird me out a bit. Now, I’m far from a starry-eyed optimist. I like to think I’m a pragmatic person. But the paranoia and pessimism that seems to motivate most preppers was disturbing to me. Sure, the planet has its share of problems. Some areas more than others.
For sure, fear and scarcity are powerful motivators, but I think they keep you stuck in the problem.
When was the last time a Doomsday thinker ever changed the world for the better? They view the people in their world as threats, or at best, competition.
Of course, I may be gloriously naive here and preppers will end up having the last laugh, but even then, I don’t think I want to live in a post TEOTWAWKI world with the survivalists in charge!
So although preppers and survivalists and I may overlap activities, our purposes for doing so couldn’t be more different.
I’m not prepping or survival-ing.
I garden for the sheer joy of it. I love delicious food. I adore my chooks and bees. I love that my garden allows me to re-use my rubbish and make compost. I live as sustainably as I can muster to minimise my human pollution. As it happens, the outcome is greater self-sufficiency.
My garden also affords me insight to philosophy, science, and economics.
For example, My middle son loves sunflowers and math. When he was seven, we took a beautifully pollinated sunflower (like the one below) to his class as an example of the Fibonacci sequence.
His teacher then asked the kids to guess the number of seeds in the sunflower head. 50? 100? One kid thought the clue was in the sunflower’s name. Sun. And since it takes 365 days for Earth to orbit the sun, that was his guess. 365 seeds.
The other kids laughed at him because his answer was way more than any of them had guessed. Yet he was the closest by far. The sunflower had exactly 364 seeds.
The kids were amazed as my son’s teacher explained that each one of those seeds, produced a flower, with the potential to multiply itself 364 over. Their minds had trouble processing that one tiny seed could produce so much. The kids took home over a dozen seeds each and went on to grow and share even more sunflowers and seeds.
I think those kids and preppers have something in common. They are committed to the absolute belief in scarcity.
Abundance, in contrast, seems almost absurd, or an exception to the rule that there almost certainly isn’t enough for everyone.
But what if the opposite were true? What if our future was not one of deprivation, but plenty?
Should we actually be “prepping” for abundance?
Some economists believe we are headed to a post-scarcity economy, where water, electricity, education, housing, and transport are all vastly cheaper, or even free thanks to advances in innovation and technology. In an abundance economy, people will not need to work earn a living. Indeed the idea of a “job” may become obsolete as more tasks are automated. There will be time to spend with our families, communities, and gardens! Sounds great, right? Very Star Trek-ish.
A second renaissance as such, as we advance into a new age.
Perhaps TEOTWAWKI and an Abundance Economy are both extreme scenarios, when perhaps we may instead end up muddling through somewhere in the middle. I know which framework I would rather live in.
My garden has taught me to look for solutions, innovations, ways to do more with less.
Remarkably, I have also had to make plans for abundance. Gluts of produce are preserved to enjoy when the season has finished. Seeds are saved and “banked” for next year. Even my waste has a bountiful transformation into compost.
I want to change the world for the better, rather than wait and react to the worst case scenario.
What do you think? I would love to hear your world view, please leave me a comment below.