Awakenings — Kindling, monotype by Michelle Lindblom

Abundance vs Scarcity

Why Do We Need So Many Choices?

Michelle Lindblom
6 min readAug 1, 2023

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Abundance: The Downside

Looking at a restaurant menu, I prefer to see only 5 choices. I mean really good choices, not 50 mediocre choices.

Not to mention walking down the bread aisle at the grocery store where I want to explode because of the overwhelming and excessive selections: white (premium, round, artesano, organic, country, etc.), wheat (honey whole, 100%, old fashioned, simple, etc.) grains in all numbers, gluten free, keto, toasting, muffin, and on and on and on.

Just give me bread that will toast the way I like it and not crumble under the pressure of applying peanut butter.

Overabundance of anything is just insane to me and American grocery stores are just one of many grievous examples of our societal excess.

Lessons in Doing More with Less

When traveling overseas, some restaurants serve meals family style. Usually a multi-course fare in which you have little choice except maybe portions served. The food and service, never disappointing. My kind of mealtime experience.

Growing up, my mother had little sympathy for sensitive taste buds. If we did not like what was on the single item (but well balanced) menu, we were not sent to our rooms or punished. We either ate what was served or fended for ourselves. Bread and peanut butter were always in the cupboard.

We were taught to simply deal with and make our own choices. It seems that early lessons in independence and decision making centered around the kitchen. We also took turns cleaning up after dinner, which prompted unnecessary trips to the bathroom when it came to our turn. Mom was privy to our schemes.

Just as we had few choices for meals, we had few choices but to do our chores.

I grew up with little abundance, but certainly enough to get by. Mom did amazing things with what was in the kitchen and many other parts of our household.

My parents, masters of nuance when dispensing discipline in order to create more with less and getting results.

Those with the Least Have the Most

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