: the quality or state of being scarce; especially: want of provisions for the support of life



Scarcity (n.): c. 1300, from Old North French escarcete (Old French escharsete), from eschars (scarce).

Scarce (adj.): c. 1300, “restricted in quantity,” from Old North French scarsscanty, scarce” (Old French eschars, Modern French échars) from Vulgar Latin *scarsus, from *escarpsus, from *excarperepluck out,” from classical Latin excerperepluck out” (related: to excerpt). As an adverb early 14th century from the adjective. Phrase to make oneself scarcego away” first attested 1771, noted as a current “cant phrase.”



“If you think happiness is a rare bird you won't see much of it.”

Marty Rubin (1930-1994, author, journalist, and gay activist, best known for writing the column “Biker Daddy” and for the book, “The Boiled Frog Syndrome”)

Bio Source:

“Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.”

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, lexicographer; regarded as one of the greatest literary figures of the 18th century)

Bio Source:

“There is a scarcity of friendship, but not of friends.”

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British scholar, preacher, and one of the wittiest and prolific writers of the 17th century)

Bio Source:

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats.”

Brené Brown (b. 1965, author, storyteller and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work; her gift to the world is her scholar study on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame)

Bio Source:

“The scarcity trap captures this notion we see again and again in many domains. When people have very little they undertake behaviors that maintain or reinforce their future disadvantage. If you have very little you often behave in such a way so that you’ll have little in the future.”

Sendhil Mullainathan (b. 1972, professor of economics at Harvard and the author of “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much;” also received the MacArthur Fellowship)

Bio Source:

“There’s a popular image of people who don’t save for the future as lacking in self-control. But the reason saving is so hard has less to do with self-control and more to do with a scarcity of attention.”

Sendhil Mullainathan

“For the vast majority of the world history, human life – both culture and biology – was shaped by scarcity. Food, clothing, shelter, tools, and pretty much everything else had to be farmed or fabricated, at a very high cost in time and energy.”

Martha Beck (b. 1962, sociologist, life coach, best-selling author and international speaker)

Bio Source:

“Part of the reason people could eat so well was that many foods that we now think of as delicacies were plenteous then. Lobsters bred in such abundance around Britain's coastline that they were fed to prisoners and orphans or ground up for fertilizer.”

Bill Bryson (b. 1951, Anglo-American author of books on travel, best known for “At Home: A Short History of Private Life”)

Bio Source:


“Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we’ve been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we’re angry and scared and at each other’s throats.”

— Brené Brown


I was telling a dear of friend that I walk every morning about 2 miles.  And sometimes when I do, I put on rubber gloves and pick up some of the garbage off of the main road to my development.  About 3 months ago, a dear neighbor and I worked together to really clean the road.  It was really a mess, and although we did a good job in picking up most of the garbage, it felt like too much work for the two of us.

I then called sanitation, which sent volunteers to really clean the road.  But, people through their destructive tendencies still keep throwing garbage on the road every day.

So, I decided to stay on top of it and do what I could.

Yesterday, one of the seniors, a man I always see walking every day stopped me and thanked me for caring.  He was disgusted and said that in an hour someone would throw garbage again.  I told him I knew, but it was important to keep trying.

We talked for a while and introduced ourselves.  His name is Ken, and it was a true honor to meet him.  I always admired him from afar, because he looked strong and fit for a man his age, either in the mid-to-late seventies or early eighties.  Actually, he was more fit than me, walking faster and more miles, running rings around me and everyone else.

I want to continue to be that strong, wise, kind, and healthy when I grow up!

This morning, when I walked there was something different.  The garbage, surprisingly, wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen the night before.  But, when I walked a little further down I found some debris left by a homeless person, clothes, a bike seat, and plastic bottles.  When I went to place the garbage in the dumpster, the I usually use near a business, a woman stopped me and said that it was her company’s dumpster.  I quietly said, “Yes, I know, but I’m picking up garbage on the street and also on your company’s property.”  She stood back and softened — apologized and then thanked me.  She said she knew I was being of service.  I told her she was welcome and sincerely wished her a great day.

As human we have suffered and do have the tendency to live a life of scarcity, which can lead to poverty of spirit and thought.  But, we must realize that everything matters, even the little things add up and make all the difference in the world.

Stay alert, sojourners, to the big and small blessings of your miraculous lives!

Much Love, Tonya



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *