The illusion of scarcity is a concept that rules our economic world. Charles Eisenstein, in his book Sacred Economics, explains that it is tempting to assume that capitalist employers, banks, and rich people in general are obsessed with driving down the prices of everything, and keeping the rest of the world poor, because they are greedy.
But, greed is nonsensical in a world of abundance. It only makes rational sense in a context of scarcity. That is, the idea that there isn’t enough (of money, resources, whatever) to go around, and therefore we must behave like greedy people to obtain, maintain and increase our wealth.
This also makes a bit more sense of love, and the way that people behave when they are (or think they are) in love.
The idea that there is only one person out there for everyone is a dangerous concept. Yet so many of us buy into this. Most likely, each person that we properly fall for, we think that they are ‘the one’. Or that they might be, and we just don’t know for sure yet.
And if there’s only one person out there for each person, we should probably never risk losing that person. And if we do, we should go to every length to ensure that we get them back.
But what happens to those who get married and then find that their ‘one’ isn’t? Has their real ‘one’ gone off and got married? What about their spouse’s ‘one’? Are they even alive, or born yet? What if they had a terrible accident and will never, ever show up? Do all marriages that are not to ‘the one’ end in divorce or murder?
Love doesn’t happen every day
This is another illusion of scarcity where love is concerned. Love does happen every day, but there are a few variables that determine its viability. According to the New York Times, it’s possible to fall in love with anyone, with the right set of questions. I suspect it has as much to do with genetic preferences and hormones as it does with psychology, but it certainly isn’t scarce.
It’s happening right now, somewhere in the world, someone is in love, or is falling in love, or just simply loves someone else. Love is everywhere, but it’s a bit like happiness; sometimes it hides behind the negatives.
Love is less likely, the older you get
More scarcity, but again, I don’t think it’s true. Older people may be less open-minded about it (does anyone remember the sitcom Waiting for God?! Maybe they were a bit too open-minded!) and that may reduce their chances somewhat, but it is more likely that their priorities are fixed on health and family, rather than whether or not they will meet their one true love. Or any love, for that matter.
What is our need for love really based upon?
It seems to me that love is possible, is easy, and can be viable in the most difficult and awkward of circumstances, but in order to thrive, it must be prioritised, or at least, maintained alongside other priorities as an equal.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says that before a person can become empowered and ‘self-actualised’ they must first have self-esteem, and before they can access that, they must have love, and before love, they must feel safe, and before safety, they must have water and food and shelter.
Sometimes other things are more important than falling and being in love.
Love and control: a postscript
Maslow’s hierarchy may not be entirely correct, but it is a helpful model. It’s a complicated explanation of a primeval human survival instinct: that a woman cannot have an orgasm unless her feet are warm.
Warm feet indicate food, shelter, and safety. Our bodies won’t allow glorious abandon until we have a few other things under control.