So when we attend a buffet, many of us, whack the most expensive food, gorge ourselves silly. But still happy, cos ate more than what we feel we paid for. Of course the restaurant still makes money but... still feel happy that we ate more than what we could have bought outside with the same amount of money.
Then when there's freebies, Singaporeans are known to line up to collect free stuff. People buy stuff to get free stuff.
And that's normal. This is pretty much the scarcity mentality. We need to spend money to get stuff. That's normal. So money is scarce, so products and services are scarce. When we encounter something which we can use little money to obtain but can get a lot of it, then we buy more, so as to stock up. Like canned foods on promos, or eating more at a buffet...
What if... just what if... everything was free?
Not all the best stuff. Just the usual stuff. For example, if there's always free food available. Free clothes. Free accessories.
What would you do. It's regularly available. Not always exactly what you want, but sometimes there's other alternatives.
I don't know about others, but for me... I think I would lose my kiasu attitude. I would stock up some free food, some free clothes and leave the rest available for others to get.
Imagine if NTUC was free. Can't be I collect everything from NTUC and store it at home right? So I take what I feel I need and some excess stock for future use. If next time I come back, and that item no stock, I can just take other stuff.
So after joining the freegan community..
(Wah lao... talk about freegan again... this guy has become a fanatic)...
Anyway bear with me... it's not that I'm fully immersed in this yet. But there's really sooo much to learn cos it's a whole new idea/concept for me. So I am introduced to this whole new world and how people view things.
The thing is... things aren't scarce anymore.
That's it... that's one of the very important things I've learnt. And I'm not talking just about dumpster diving. There are many ways to get free stuff, you just need to know the lobangs.
So I read stories told by other freegans. They find out about events which have food catered. There is a network of people and when people know of an event that has ended, they contact others who are around the area and if the organisers allow, they go in an help finish the food or dabao it back. I'm sure many of you have been to events and at the end of the event they just dump the food.
The story is that the freegans go there, they eat what they want, they dabao what they want. They take what they feel they can consume...
BUT... they also see others, may be from the freegan community, maybe not, just anyhow whack. Dabao loads of stuff which they aren't likely able to consume. Simply put... still the scarcity mentality. Take first, talk later.
When I hear stories like these, I think about... hoarders. That's what it is... they hoard stuff cos they lack the security. They like having more stuff cos they feel that stuff is scarce. And when we talk about minimalist and declutter... hoarders have a different level of clutter. They hardly have any space to walk in their homes and usually their stuff extends outside of the house. Furthermore, most of the stuff is basically... Junk.
Cos they like to keep stuff, and find stuff and continue to just keep stuff. They don't even throw away the junk to find more valuable stuff. Hoarders don't like throwing away stuff in GENERAL. Regardless of value.
Now, I'm not saying freegans can't become hoarders. Some may be more kiasu than others and take things to an extreme, but others may not. I look at this from a very broad perspective. So some may be hoarders some might not... I'm not going to discuss that.
Rather... I think...
If people, or I... can get things for free, and I know where to consistently get stuff for free. Might not be exactly the stuff I want but I can find a good enough substitute. How would my mentality change?
I think I would become more generous. You want some free laundry detergent? Take lor. You want free toothpaste? I give you lor. How about this electric kettle... you want it? Here you can have it.
Why? Cos I know where to get it for free again.
(Once again, I'm not talking about dumpster diving. There are many ways to get free stuff.)
You can have my dining table. No problem. I know where to get another dining table.
So I think, getting involved in this freegan community (I'm just starting out)... has really opened my eyes to a whole new world. A world which is NOT scarce. I'm not saying that EVERYTHING can be obtained for free. Some stuff still needs to be purchased with money... rather the word is scarce.
If things are not scarce, then we aren't so concerned about SURVIVAL anymore. It can be about other things. Like living, enjoying ourselves. Isn't this what so many of us read about when we talk about financial independence? We read that we should be confident about our AUM, that we can reduce our expenses and have confidence in our calculation and we can live off our investments. We don't need to continue to work and grind MORE money, cos... we already have ENOUGH.
This is why I'm so interested in this freegan community and learning from it. To me, it can be used to combine to enhance the whole experience of financial security, to remove the mentality of scarcity. To reduce my expenses so that my AUM can be used to purchase other stuff which require monetary exchange, like a visit to the dentist.
I feel that if I get more involved in this, I will also become a better person. To become more generous to gift more, cos I know where to get more of certain stuff again. No I don't intend to be hoarding. I like having space in my house and I actively try to clear my unused stuff all the time.
I think this has been interesting, cos after opening my eyes to this, it's like another part of my mind has been unlocked. The world view that... out there, there is no lack of resources and there is no scarcity. I'm not trying to just survive anymore. I can turn my attention to other things.
**I still haven't fully immersed myself in this yet, but I think that the above is what this new world would show me.
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