One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful sun-kissed beach, with his fishing rod held up in the sand and a single line cast out into the sparkling blue sea. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun as well as the prospect of catching a fish.
A businessman came down to the beach no doubt to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”
“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”
“And then what will my reward be?” the fisherman asked again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire people to work for you!” he said.
“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.
“Don’t you understand?” said the businessman. “You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”
Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”
The businessman was now red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “You can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
Are you satisfied with what you have or are you always striving for more? Do you feel you have to work harder to have a better car, a bigger house or more possessions? Do you sometimes feel envious or jealous of others for what they have or the success they appear to enjoy? Does your life sometimes feel like a competition?
I share this story because the media fills us with the belief that there is not enough to go around. We are fed a myth of scarcity which leads to a drive to enlarge our net worth turning us away from discovering and deepening our self-worth. The myth of scarcity appears to have one purpose: to justify not sharing the social wealth. There is no evidence that society does not have, and never could have, sufficient resources to meet human needs.
Every spiritual practice encourages us to look within… that the answer and connection we seek is not in the outer world, it is within, yet there appears to be an intrinsic belief that we need to own more, possess more and that there is not enough to go around. If your focus and belief is that there isn’t enough time, or not enough money to go round, enough time to sleep, enough time for business…well, it can end up consuming your every waking moment. It also creates greed, jealousy, corruption, prejudice, arguments, stress, depression, disillusionment and competition…which ultimately means that someone wins and someone loses.
To cheer ourselves up, we go out and buy more ‘stuff.’ It is definitely the consumer age and even when we have no more space to put all the ‘stuff’ we buy, we then rent a storage unit. In fact, storage units are becoming an expanding business!
Abundance is there to behold in Nature.
“There is a natural law of abundance which pervades the entire universe, but it will not flow through a doorway of belief in lack and limitation.” Paul Zatter
Abundance is a natural law of the Universe. The evidence of abundance is there to behold in Nature. Everywhere Nature is lavish and extravagant. Nowhere is economy observed. The millions of trees and flowers, plants, animals and the large scheme of reproduction where the process of creating and recreating is forever going on, all indicates the extravagance and abundance with which nature provides.
In the Upanishads, Hindu scriptures that are several thousand years old, it is said:
"From abundance he took abundance, and still abundance remains"
Your abundance, your experience of abundance in no way removes or takes away from anyone else's abundance. If you take a deep breath of air, you hold it and then you breathe out. You have actually taken from abundance and still abundance remains
It is the same with everything. Once you create thoughts of abundance - abundance will appear in your life everywhere.
So what is abundant in your life right now? It could be sunshine or rain, it could be the food on your table, your friends, your health, and it might be as simple as flowers growing in your garden. Remember, like attracts like, so start cultivating a mind-set of abundance and gratitude and appreciation for what you do have.