When I hear the word “abundance,” the first image I see is a family gathered around a table filled with abundant food! Here in the United States, holidays are fast approaching, and people will begin thronging to grocery stores to buy the food they will need, and more, for their holiday tables. There will be turkeys and roasts and root vegetables and fruit of every color and size. Beverages will flow and suddenly, no one will be watching their waistline. Everyone will devour the myriad of desserts that will have been baked to perfection. My peach cobbler is a favorite.
In many homes around our country, there will also be an abundance of family members. It is a tradition for families to travel far and wide to be together for holiday celebrations. They will bring gifts and their own arms opened wide to show love to one another. At this time of year, possibly more than any other, love and kindness are also in abundance, as well as food and drink.
I remember many occasions at home where family came together and old problems and disagreements were put aside for the holidays. Everyone smiled and hugged and kissed. Love was so strong you could feel it as you walked through a room. And that feeling lasted far longer than the holidays.
When I think of “abundance,” right now I see fields of pumpkins ready to be harvested. So many times, I’ve had friends tell me of visiting farms to choose the perfect pumpkin. Invariably, there are so many that a choice is hard to make. They are tall and short, fat and slim, bright orange and more yellow and almost white.
Where do you find abundance in your life?
When I ponder this question, the first response that comes to mind is: friends. It can be a wonderful thing to have an abundance of friends in life. A friend can be a confidant, who really does keep our secrets hidden away from the rest of the world. A friend can be someone with whom we can laugh. Or with whom we can cry. Sometimes, that quality is even more important. A friend can be someone who sees all of our flaws and still loves us. We can have friends for different circumstances, different occasions and different emotions. Every person is not the same and every friend brings something different to our lives.
I know someone who has an abundance of books. For any given time of day, there is always a book waiting to be read. And books can be like friends. They are dependable and available to us almost whenever we need them. Having an abundance of them is to have literature that has been around for years and years, or something that was just published and released the other day.
And then there is music. Such an abundance of musical styles today. We can choose anything from the blues to jazz to country to opera and even good old rock ‘n roll. Having an abundance means that we have choices. And that seems to be the key.
Why do people seem to want an abundance of things so badly?
- To avoid boredom. I don’t know how people can get bored in this life, but they do seem to do that too easily. They now have an abundance of electronics to keep them busy, when they don’t know how to keep themselves busy with their own hands and their own minds. They play games on their desktops and laptops and tablets and smartphones. I suppose it keeps them busy. I also think that the truth of the matter is that they are still bored, no matter how many games they play online.
- To run away from their problems. People manage to find a way to forget their own realities with an abundance of food or alcohol or drugs. And these ways to escape only bring an abundance of other problems. In a country where immigrants come to find a better life, we suddenly find that there are more weight loss clinics than ever before. There are more drug and alcohol treatment centers than ever before. And there seem to be more therapists than ever before. Do their problems lessen? Some do. Those who are serious about treatment can generally find the help they need. Others just wallow in their ways to avoid reality.
- Tradition. We seem to have less and less time to spend with families these days, now that every member of the family has to work for a living. So, when families do have the occasion to get together, tradition gives a good reason to cook too much food and buy too much alcohol. To Americans, celebration is nothing without an abundance of food and drink.
- Shopping. We should have known that we were in trouble when the first shopping network came alive on television. It made it too easy for everyone to shop and shop and shop for an abundance of “stuff.” Shopping fills a void in the lives of too many people. I once caught one of those shows on TV, just to get an idea of what people were buying. That particular network was filled with Christmas lights and trees and decorations that would definitely look pretty, but sometimes too much is really too much! The “hosts” of the show kept giving a tally of how many items were being bought in that particular hour, and the numbers were in the thousands! I’m sure most of those people didn’t really need to buy all those items. But if you watch those programs long enough, you might even find yourself wanting something that you can’t even use! I suppose people who run night time infomercials figured that out long ago.
- Lack of Saving Knowledge. So many people were raised to save money. We all learn how hard we have to work to make a dollar these days. So it seems crazy to turn around and spend that money foolishly. And yet, people flock every day to Walmart and Target. We couldn’t spend enough money in regular stores so they had to build SUPER stores where people can buy more and more. Those stores have an abundance of everything, whether necessary or not. People go into the stores for one or two items and walk out with carts full of “stuff.”
As I discuss in my latest book, Abundance Now, the world is filled with an richness of so many things. Rather than spend our money on everything that doesn’t matter, why not go outside and watch a sunrise or sunset? It’s free and it’s beautiful. It can fill us with wonder and awe – something we had in abundance when we were children.
To your abundant life,