Abundance

 

I was asked to give a talk in a part of town where the majority of people had hit hard times. They were mostly unemployed, struggling on benefits and hand outs. Several had partners in prison and small children to care for. 

 

When I arrived at the hall. I looked out from behind the stage curtain at the people filing in. They were of all ages, schoolgirls, mothers, grandmothers, fathers, teenage boys and  babies in buggies. Against the back wall were two sleeping bags which belonged to two homeless men. The hall was a small brick room with one window at the back, a make shift kitchen which was in need of repair, the roof leaked, many chairs were broken and the walls had graffiti sprayed on them.  I looked around the sea of faces. I felt their desperation in the air. I wanted to help these people, I needed to help them.  I had known what it was like to hit rock bottom, I had known hunger and hopelessness.  But I had no magic wand, no pot of gold to offer them. I only had my words so I bravely entered the stage. 

 

I introduced myself and told them I wanted to talk of how abundant their lives were. There were several groans in the hall, some people laughed and a heard several say ” is she kidding!”. I was not surprised by the response in fact I had predicted their reaction.  In today’s society the word abundance is not often heard or used. Society tells us there is a recession on, we are killing the planet, crime is up and there is no hope for future generations.  Society tells us there is not enough to feed the poor, to house the homeless, not even enough money in the bank.  But this is not true. We are an abundant nation, not just in monetary value but also in emotional value. 

 

I addressed the audience by telling them that abundance is everywhere and we we part of it. Abundance is a state of mind that can be cultivated like a garden just as easily as a lack can develop if we believe it. Like everything if you feed it, then it will grow. Feed your lack of abundance and watch it grow, feed your belief in abundance and watch that grow. So what would you choose given the choice? My audience became restless. I then repeated the statement. Your lives are already so abundant and i am sure the majority of you do not have enough fingers to count all the things you are grateful for.  The room remained silent. 

 

I then asked one of the men in the front row to tell me what he was grateful for, he hesitated and then said “his health having lost a partner to cancer”. I turned to the woman next to him and asked her the same question, she said “my children”. Soon I was firing this question at the whole audience and people started shouting out ” my dog, she is my best friend”, ” the lady in the bakers who always gives me a free roll” said one of the homeless men”. “The woman in the launderette who often puts my wash in with hers when I am short”, said the mother of three.  “My brother” said a teenager. “My grandfather”. “My warm bed”. “My friends”, shouted out another. Within ten minutes the noise in the room was deafening, as people turned to each other and shared their abundance, some trying to out do each other. I stood there not speaking for about 5 minutes and they did not even notice.  I smiled as I listened to laughter amongst the community. People were counting on their fingers all the things they were grateful for. I was elated, the atmosphere in the room had shifted there was a sense of hope amongst the community.

 

The community leader called the room to order and the faces that turned to me were not of hopelessness they were of hope. I then asked the community to take a few minutes everyday to sit and count all that they were grateful for and I guaranteed it would grow everyday till there were not enough fingers and toes.  

 

A year later I was giving a talk at a a summer fete and a woman approached me and explained that she was in the audience the day I gave the talk on abundance.  She said I had inspired her and her life had turned around, all because she made the choice to be grateful for what she had and not what she did not have. All it takes is to look at our life differently, that simple shift in view and life can be full of untold riches.

 

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