The Bigger Picture
An individual sharing an item can seem trivial, but it actually creates a powerful gateway towards a different mind-set, a different culture and potentially a different future.
Mainstream consumer culture bombards us with powerful messages that we need more: that we are not and have not enough. We need more money, more things, more time, more love, more muscles, more friends. It is based on the unspoken idea that if you have more, that means less for me: I must hurry to get what I ‘need’ otherwise it will all be gone. It leads us all into a decision-making process based on fear – fear of loss, fear of scarcity, FOMO. People have always measured their wellbeing by comparing with neighbours, but technology now means we can compare ourselves with the whole world. Scientific studies have shown that when a person perceives themselves to be in a position of scarcity, they experience changes in the way their brain works – neural pathways are limited and a person’s ability to problem-solve is decreased. It’s likely we can all remember a moment when stress and fear prevented you from seeing an obvious solution. Our brains translate an attitude of scarcity as a threat to our survival, embedding the feeling of ‘not-enough’ which in turn prompts us to consume more. The irony is that the climate, biodiversity and health crises are a very real threat to our survival as a civilisation, and yet our decision-making process is sabotaging our ability to find sustainable solutions.