One of the most interesting concepts in biology arises from the field of immunology.
Inside the human body, there are millions of immune cells that patrol the body to
1) distinguish between self and non-self entities and
2) to attack and remove non-self entities.
For example, if a flu virus enters the system, white blood cells instantaneously detect the foreign objects with sensitive antennas and trigger a system wide alert. Soon, other white blood cells flood the areas to engulf and remove the non-self newcomers. Our biological system is primed to react against non-self to protect self and we owe our lives to this incredibly complicated yet efficient system.
It is no surprise that in human interactions, we often view situations, environments, humans, animals, things, etc. that are different from our own realm of familiarity as non-self. We perceive these elements as threatening to our own survival and raise defenses and attacks to block, remove, or destroy them. This phenomenon occurs daily on small and large scales.
In marriages and romantic relationships, couples fight with each other in you vs. me arguments. One partner often tries to change the other because both people grew up in different sets of Nature and Nurture conditions. When one partner's idea, like parenting strategies or spending style, differs from the other partner's idea, it can threaten a way of being.
In election campaigns, politicians sling vicious verbal attacks toward each other in you vs. me debates. The success of one candidate often directly threatens the political standing of another candidate.
In sports, there are usually two teams that oppose each other. They physically compete in the arenas to capture a valued object or to physically take down the opponents. In the ancient times, gladiators fought to the death as a form of entertainment.
These types of human interactions revolve around the battle between self and non-self. You vs. me. You must lose so I can win.
In game theory and economics theory, this is known as a zero-sum game - a situation where there is a finite amount of value and the loss of one confers an equally balanced gain of another. In this situation, someone always has to lose.
What if we operate under a new model based around the concept of abundance? The mindset is focused on the idea that there is plenty for all of us.
I can be strong and you can also be strong.
I can be beautiful and you can also be beautiful.
I can be smart and you can also be smart.
Abundance mindset says "There is no monopoly in greatness. I recognise the greatness in you and I recognise the greatness in me, and both can co-exist."
So what happens when we approach a situation where we have different opinions from other people?
We have four distinct options:
- We remove ourselves from the situation
- We act upon our opinion (and/or convince others to do the same)
- We act upon others' opinion (and/or convince ourselves that this is the best option)
- We selectively integrate the valuable ideas in our opinions and the valuable ideas in others' opinions and we arrive at a new possibility.
In the Abundance Model Mindset, we all win and we all agree that it is an acceptable and welcomed scenario.
We shift from the situation of 1+1 = 1 (win-lose situation) to a 1+1 = 3 (win-win + new possibility) situation.
We become more tolerant and open to new ideas and new possibilities. We recognise that when our interactions cease to be mutually beneficial, we can exercise the option to distance ourselves or activate change.
Self does not always need to destroy non-self to survive.
You exist. I exist. We all co-exist.
Love, compassion, and kindness can blossom in abundance.