Working with globally-aware, thoughtful and enlightened clients, colleagues and friends, I hear this expression with some regularity: “…but that’s a first world problem.”  It always strikes me as sad when I hear someone tell me about a personal challenge, followed by those words, and now I know why.
I recently had this “aha” moment while I was listening to Brene Brown’s new book, Rising Strong.  She says that, “Comparative suffering is a function of fear and scarcity.”  Wow.  No wonder that expression makes me feel uneasy.

When we hold empathy and compassion for a refugee in Syria, for example, but not for our neighbor going through a divorce, we are rationing love, and, as Brene Brown so wisely says, “Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world.”  While perspective is critical, what if we held more empathy and compassion?

I believe in changing the world from the inside out.  
My hope in sharing this “aha” with you is that we can all be more aware of the sneaky places where scarcity (i.e., not enough) hides out in our lives.  With awareness comes our ability to make a different choice.

The opposite of scarcity is “enough.”  As Orland Bishop so eloquently proposes in his video called, Rethinking Money, if we can change our thinking from “I don’t have” to “I have enough to give,” and, “If I have enough to give, I have enough to share,” and if we have enough to share, “we have a new reality.”

This is why I feel it is so important to catch ourselves in scarcity thinking: when we cultivate “enough,” not only do we feel better in our day to day lives, but we can also change the world.