By: Tanvi Maharaja
If there is one positive, silver lining if you will, that this pandemic has offered us, it is the realization that most good things in life are free. We find ourselves spending more quality time as a family, enjoying the infinite beauty of nature. The flora, the sunsets, the incessant chirping of the birds, the frolicking fawn and the serene mommy deer, random visits from the turkey family, the goldfinch family with their little blue egg nestling in the safety of the lush green tree, the inquisitive red fox, the sinister looking but quite harmless little snake, the hawk who eventually took her…. The list goes on and on. Mother Nature just keeps giving. We are left in awe and wonder at these amazing sights that we may otherwise not have had the time to appreciate.
I have been quite taken by the hummingbirds in particular. These tiny creatures are quite the thing! They are extremely territorial and guard their feeders with the zest of a creature whose life depends on it! The territorial conflicts started from the day we put out the feeder. To minimize this tension, we put out another feeder at a distance with multiple watering holes so many birds can partake at once without having to fight each other. But fight each other they did, tirelessly and mercilessly.
In one instance, we got to witness a mid-air battle between two hummingbirds that lasted more than twenty minutes. They would dip in every now and then to replenish their dying energy and carry on with their savage blows. It was quite a sight!
While it is evident that this territorial tendency is an evolutionary instinct at play, it reminded me of similar characteristics in man for less convincing reasons. We often suffer from a scarcity mindset, even when abundance is manifest all around us. We just choose to zero in on a target and want it all for ourselves and loathe anyone else who has similar goals.
The scarcity mindset creates unnecessary rivalry, which results in a hostile environment. This benefits no-one, neither the parties involved nor the individuals benefiting from the business or activity in question, i.e., consumers. Acknowledging this, individuals and businesses should identify instances of scarcity mindset and look at the bigger picture. A pragmatic approach should involve identifying available resources and ever-expanding markets, and acknowledging the abundance thereof.
The hummingbirds, unfortunately, haven’t learned this. Artificial feeders are still pretty new on their evolutionary timeline. It will be a while before they realize that there are plenty around and they can all benefit from sharing it, and it does not have to result in a drink-or-die battle.
It is possible to escape the scarcity mindset. It is possible to appreciate the goodness, the abundance of blessings and beauty in life. It is possible when we sit up and take notice.
Appreciating the abundance that life bestows on us makes for a more happy, satisfying life.