The Scarcity of Adaptability During COVID-19

Who would have thought a symbol of a pandemic would be toilet paper? Toilet paper?! And the crazy thing about this is COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, not an intestinal bug. Whoever started this silly run on toilet paper?

Scarcity mentality

One thing I can pretty much guarantee is this: the potty paper hoarders probably have a scarcity mentality. The concept of a scarcity mindset was introduced by Stephen Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. A scarcity mentality believes everything is in limited quantities. You had better get yours before it runs out!

Abundance mentality

The opposite is an abundance mentality. Those who have an abundance mindset believe there is enough to go around. We are not going to run out. Everyone can have some. (This is obviously the habit of highly effective people, but I think you guessed that.)

People with a scarcity mindset have difficulty sharing pretty much anything. Not only will they hoard potty paper, they are also jealous of everything else. The way they think, if Grammy loves my sister, there won’t be any love left for me. Sometimes they think their sister has cornered Grammy’s love and there is nothing for them at all.

Worried that there's only so much to go around

Then there are the abundance mindset folks. Trent Hamm, writing for "The Simple Dollar" back in October 2010, stated that to him the biggest difference between the scarcity and abundance mindsets is simple: scarcity people are worried about what everyone else has and the abundance people don’t really care.

Hamm goes on to say the question often is, "How does someone else having something prevent you from having the same thing?" Unless the person you envy has secretly acquired the Mona Lisa or another one-of-a-kind sort of thing, it doesn’t. That means with a little effort and planning you can get the same sort of thing in your life.1

Visually handicapped people

How do I think this relates to vision loss? Have you ever seen a visually handicapped person and said to yourself, “Wow. How does he do that?” Be it navigate with a white cane or work a piece of technology, that blind guy has got it going on. Have you ever said to yourself you could never do that? That is a scarcity mentality. It is as if there was only so much adaptability in the world and that guy got his share and yours too.

Seeking resources

Having a scarcity mentality leads to stagnation. If you were not telling yourself everything you don’t have to accomplish a goal, what would you do? Would you be satisfied to be sitting home - away from your old friends and activities - if you had told yourself not that there were no resources but that they are there somewhere just waiting for you to find them?

Believing there is enough

Right now we are in a bit of a fix. Many people have thrown up their hands and said we do not have the resources to get out of this. There is simply not “enough”. Yet my husband came home from his mother’s senior living community and told me there were 50 cars in the parking lot of the rec center. Everyone was sitting in his car except a center employee. She was calling bingo numbers over a bullhorn. Every day, one of my fitness instructors is teaching a class over zoom. When we believe there is enough, we find a way for there to be enough. Don’t give up. There is a way.

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